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EDITIONS
 Thursday, 19 December, 2002, 08:55 GMT
Former exile made Brazilian minister
Gilberto Gil: now Brazil's culture minister
Gilberto Gil has gone from exile to government minister
Gilberto Gil, the Brazilian musician once arrested and imprisoned by the country's military government, has accepted an offer to become the country's next culture minister.

Gil was offered the post by President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the winner of the country's recent elections.

The 60-year-old is one of the leaders of the Tropicalia movement, which fuses jazz with samba, salsa and the Brazilian bossanova sound.

He has collaborated with reggae singer Jimmy Cliff and The Wailers, Bob Marley's legendary former band.

Gil is the most prominent member of the Green Party, who are sharing power with Mr Lula's Worker's Party.

President-elect Lula
The leftist Lula won power in October
The leftist government takes power on 1 January.

In a news conference, Gil said he has not yet set himself goals for his new job.

"My first task is to listen inside myself and listen outside," he said.

Gil has already met the president-elect over the job. After the meeting he said could not decide whether to take the post because he was not sure he could stick to the $26,000 (17,300) maximum salary.

Mr Lula has given Gil dispensation to earn money from his music, while he holds the post.

"I can work from Monday through Friday at the ministry and do shows on Saturday and Sunday," he said.

Gilberto Gil
Gil has become an champion for black rights in Brazil
Gil is one of the biggest stars in Brazil's music scene, and won best world music record, in the 1998 Grammys, for the album Quanta Ao Vivo.

His international success has included tours in the US and Europe and appearances at the Montreaux Jazz Festival.

But in the 60s his exotic, revolutionary blend of music was seen as provocative and inflammatory by the country's military junta.

He was placed in solitary confinement while the government decided his fate.

Black rights

He then spent three years in exile in the UK, playing with artists including Pink Floyd, Yes, The Incredible String Band and Rod Stewart.

Since his return to Brazil, and a deal with WEA since 1977, Gil has recorded many albums, the most successful being 1982's Gente Precisa Ver O Luar.

Gil has been an outspoken social commentator and has used his music to further black rights in Brazil.

He has been a member of parliament for the port city of Salvador since the mid 90s.

See also:

08 Sep 01 | Entertainment
25 Jan 02 | Entertainment
17 Dec 02 | Country profiles
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