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Jorge Ben Jor (born March 22, 1942 in Rio de Janeiro) is a Brazilian popular musician. His characteristic style fuses samba, funk, and rock into samba-rock, with lyrics that blend humor and satire with often esoteric subject matter. Born Jorge Duilio Lima Menezes, he initially took the stage name Jorge Ben after his mother's name (of Ethiopian origin) but later changed it to Jorge Ben Jor (commonly written Benjor), allegedly in response to an incident where some of his royalties had accidentally gone to American guitarist George Benson.

Jorge Ben obtained his first pandeiro (Brazil's most popular type of tambourine) when he was thirteen, and two years later, was singing in a church choir. He also took part as a pandeiro player in the blocos of Carnival, and from eighteen years of age, he began performing at parties and nightclubs with the guitar his mother gave him.

It was at one of those clubs in which he performed that his musical career took off. In 1963, Jorge came on stage and sang "Mas Que Nada" (or "no way") to a small crowd that happened to include an executive from the recording company, Philips. One week later, Jorge Ben's first single was released.

The hybrid rhythms that Jorge employed brought him some problems at the start of his career, when Brazilian music was split between the rockier sounds of the Jovem Guarda and traditional samba with its complex lyrics. But as that phase in Brazilian pop music history passed, and bossa nova became more well known throughout the world, Jorge rose to prominence.


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