This Brazilian music heavyweight doesn't just sing about politics and social issues, he's been actively engaged in them since the '60s. After his activism resulted in nine months of political imprisonment and three years in exile, Gil began his political career in 1987 as Salvador secretary of culture. He was elected to city council the next year and then became city commissioner for environmental protection. Although the singer stepped down after one term, he continued to stay active in environmental causes as well as music. In 2003, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva appointed Gil to the position of Minister of Culture. The Grammy-winner held the position for five years before resigning to re-focus on music full-time.