Claudia Leitte, born Cláudia Cristina Leitte Inácio Pedreira on July 10, 1980 in São Gonçalo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is a an axé and pop recording artist and one of the most popular female singers in Brazil and Latin America. Axé is a popular music genre originating in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil in 1986, which fuses different Afro-Caribbean genres, such as Marcha, Reggae, and Calypso. It also includes influences of Brazilian music such as Frevo, Forró and Carixada. The word “axé” comes from a Yoruba religious greeting used in the Candomblé and Umbanda religions that means “soul”, “light”, “spirit” or “good vibration”.
Claudia Leitte was originally a member of the band Babado Novo which also included Sérgio Rocha (guitar, guitar and musical direction), Buguelo (drums), Alan Moraes (bass), Luciano Pinto (keyboard), Nino Bala and Durval Light (percussion.) The group released five albums before Leitte left in 2008 to pursue a solo career. Her first release as a solo artist was the live album Ao Vivo em Copacabana which featured Daniela Mercury and Wando. Her first studio album As Máscaras was released in 2010 and was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award. She appeared on Ricky Martin’s single “Samba” and on a version of “La Luz”, the main single for Juanes’ sixth album Loco de Amor (2014.) In 2014 she represented Brazil on the FIFA World Cup official song, “We Are One (Ole Ola)” along with Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez.
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