Baden Powell de Aquino was born in Brazil and named after the founder of the Scout movement, Robert Baden-Powell. Early in life, he began taking guitar lessons and proved to be a virtuoso, playing professionally at the age of 15.
In his early 20s, Baden gained wider fame when a popular singer of the time agreed to write lyrics for one of his compositions. The song, Samba Triste, became popular worldwide with covers of it performed by jazz greats like Charlie Parker and Stan Getz.
His greatest acclaim came by being part of the creation of the Afro-Brazilian music form, one that combined the samba with other native music forms. He toured the world playing and singing his music and released dozens of albums.