Brazilian music giant Jamelão looms large in the evolution and continued relevance of samba. The foremost interpreter of dor de cotovelo, a romantic, profoundly melodramatic style exploring the anguish of the human experience, he also composed standards including "Deixa Amanhecer," "Um Dia Hás de Pagar," and "Ela Me Convidou," and for five decades remained a fixture of Rio de Janeiro's annual Carnival Parade. Born José Bispo Clementino dos Santos in Rio's São Cristóvão district on May 12, 1913, he shined shoes as a child, later toiling as a newspaper delivery boy and textile factory worker -- only during the early '30s did he pursue a career as a singer, adopting the cavaquinho (a small, four-stringed guitar central to samba tradition) and performing in the dancehalls of north Rio. With his booming, richly expressive voice he quickly emerged as a crowd favorite, earning his famous alias from a nightclub announcer who, unsure of the singer's name, introduced him as "Jamelão" (i.e. a sweet-tasting fruit with a dark skin). The name stuck, and in 1947 Jamelão rose to national prominence when he claimed first prize in a Rio amateur competition. Two years later, he was appointed the primary singer of the city's premier samba school, Mangueira, and in 1952 he toured France as the official crooner in front of Brazil's Tabajara orchestra. That same year, Jamelão made his first appearance on Mangueira's Carnival Parade float, an honor he reprised each year for more than half-a-century, with his signature white suit, panama hat, and walking stick, he would become one of the most recognizable exponents of the festival experience.