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So Pra Contrariar
The group Só Pra Contrariar, dedicated to the pop-romantic pagode style, is a phenomenon of world best-selling music, having sold 3,000,000 copies of a single CD. They formed in 1989 in Uberlândia MG, Alexandre Pires (the leader, 13 at the time) convinced his brother Fernando Pires (drums), his cousin Juliano (percussion), and friends Rogério (tantã), Serginho (keyboards), Hamilton (sax), Luiz Fernando (pandeiro), Alexandre Popó (surdo), and Luis Antônio (bass) to form the band for fun. The name came from a samba by the Carioca group Fundo de Quintal, "Só Pra Contrariar." The group sharpened its skills by playing in little bars in Uberlândia. They recorded a demo tape in 1993 and sent it to BMG. That same year, the group signed with the company and recorded their first CD, Só Pra Contrariar, which had the hit "Que Se Chama Amor." Their second song to make success on the radio was "A Barata" (Alexandre Pires). This first CD sold 500,000 copies, and the group became celebrated. They toured several cities, participated in radio top charts throughout Brazil, and even performed on TV. Their second CD, Só Pra Contrariar (1994), had the hits "O Meu Jeito De Ser," "Te Amar Sem Medo," and the samba "É Bom Demais," but the biggest hit of this album was "Essa Tal Liberdade." During this period, the group was already gathering 20,000 people at their performances. In their first three albums they had 15 hits in the top parades. Só Pra Contrariar (1997), their fifth CD, had "Depois Do Prazer," which was the most spun song on radios in all of Brazil. Other hits like "Mineirinho," "Minha Metade," "Tá Por Fora," and "Quando é Amor," helped the group to win the triple diamond record for 3 million copies sold, which has never before been reached by a Brazilian artist in a single CD. In 1998, they were the first Brazilian group to win the World Music Awards. That same year they recorded their first CD in Spanish, which sold 700,000 copies. "Mi Mitad" was chosen as the opening theme song to the romantic soap opera Romantica Obsession, from the Mexican TV Azteca. This CD also brought the prizes: Gardel (Argentina) as best Latin pop group, the Brazilian International Press Awards (Miami) as best touring group in the U.S., platinum record in Argentina, triple platinum record in Uruguay, gold record in Chile, gold record in Colombia, gold record in Costa Rica, and gold record in the U.S. In 1999 the group recorded their second Spanish-sung CD, Juegos de Amor, which had the participation of Gloria Stefan on the track "Santo Santo." This song quickly reached the Top 20 on radios of several countries, remaining in the second place for four weeks in Spain and first place for three weeks in Argentina. It also reached the second place on the Billboard chart, being the most played song in the Latin circles of U.S. The group won the Spanish awards Amigo and Ondas. ~ Alvaro Neder