Even though Brazilian pop singer Michel Teló is best known for his 2011 single "Ai Se Eu Te Pego!," he had already been a successful performer for several years before recording the song, which became a number one hit in over 15 countries. Teló, who was born on January 21, 1981 in Medianeira, Paraná, had been singing since he was six years old, as well as playing the accordion, the piano, and the harmonica. He formed his first band when he was 12; in 1997, he joined the Brazilian band Grupo Tradição, with whom he released several successful albums and singles as a singer, songwriter, and harmonica player. In 2008, Teló decided to leave the band; his final album with Grupo Tradição, Micareta Sertaneja 2, was nominated for a Latin Grammy in the Brazilian music category. Teló's first solo album, 2009's Balada Sertaneja, featured the hit single "Ei, Psiu! Beijo, Me Liga," while his 2010 live album, Ao Vivo, was awarded gold status and sported the single "Fugidinha," which reached number one in the Brazilian Hot 100 charts.
The following year, Teló released his signature song, "Ai Se Eu Te Pego!," which was made popular when Brazilian soccer player Neymar danced to it in a YouTube video that received several million clicks -- a dance that was performed by several other soccer players as well (among them Spanish players Marcelo Vieira and Cristiano Ronaldo, and Polish player Adrian Mierzejewski). The song, which was originally written by Sharon Acioly and Antônio Dyggs, and which had already been a regional hit in Brazil in 2008, received further attention when Brazilian soccer player Ailton sang the song in the German TV show Ich Bin Ein Star -- Holt Mich Hier Raus. Eventually, the song topped the charts in several European countries, as well as in Latin America and Israel. Télo's accompanying 2011 live album, Michel Na Balada, which featured "Ai Se Eu Te Pego!," was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award as Best Sertanejo Album and charted at number 11 in Germany, at number ten in Austria, and at number two in Switzerland. ~ Christian Genzel