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Tunai has met both huge success and the praise from some of the most important Brazilian popular music artists. His work was launched for a national audience by Elis Regina, who recorded "As Aparências Enganam" (with Sérgio Natureza, his main partner) in 1979. Soon he had other songs recorded by the likes of Milton Nascimento, Fagner, Ney Matogrosso, Gal Costa, Nana Caymmi, Simone, Zizi Possi, Elba Ramalho, Jane Duboc, Beto Guedes, Joanna, Sandra de Sá, César Camargo Mariano, MPB-4, Quarteto em Cy, Fafá de Belém, Ivete Sangalo, and Emílio Santiago. Tunai also has also worked with Murilo Antunes, Ana Terra, Milton Nascimento, Abel Silva, Cláudio Rabelo, and Chico Amaral.
Tunai was born into a musical family, of which João Bosco is the most famous representative. In his hometown, he started to play in the dance band Jovem Brasa 5. In 1978, he moved to Rio de Janeiro, where met Sérgio Natureza and immediately began to pen songs with him. His first solo album as an interpreter was Todos os Tons, released in 1981.
One of the most important vehicles for national divulgation of popular songs in Brazil are soap operas, which are extremely popular. Selection of songs to be inserted in their soundtracks is very rigorous, and if it serves as a measure of success and of the composer's ability to connect with a broad and diverse audience, it must be noted that Tunai had many songs included in top soap operas. Some of those songs include "Sintonia" (Tititi, TV Globo), "Sobrou Pra Mim" (Fera Radical, TV Globo), "Meu Amor" (Despedida de Solteiro, TV Globo), "Apaixonada" (Pantanal, TV Manchete), "Eternamente" (Torre de Babel, TV Globo), and "Frisson" (Suave Veneno, TV Globo).