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From Brazilian pop star to politician

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December 21, 2002|From Associated Press

Gilberto Gil, Brazil's popular Grammy-winning pop star, accepted an offer from President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to become the country's next culture minister.

Gil, 60, was one of the creators of Tropicalia, which opened traditional bossa nova to rock 'n' roll, reggae and Latin sounds. He campaigned for Silva and is the most prominent member of Brazil's Green Party, which is allied with Silva's Workers Party.

Gil initially was reluctant to take the position, explaining he couldn't maintain his lifestyle on the $26,000 salary. But he told reporters he has Silva's permission to continue making money from his music. "I can work from Monday through Friday at the ministry and do shows on Saturday and Sunday," he said.

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