Born in Rio de Janeiro, at the age of 2 Milton Nascimento moved with his adoptive parents to Três Pontas, in the State of Minas Gerais. Despite the fact that Milton is originally from Rio de Janeiro, he was one of the musicians responsible for promoting the popular music from Minas Gerais. Endowed with an extraordinary voice, Nascimento started his music career at the age of 13, singing as a crooner, a singing style he returned to on his 1999 CD "Crooner". In his teens, he joined the group Luar de Prata with Wagner Tiso, whose mother taught piano notions. Nascimento worked on Rádio Três Pontas as a DJ, announcer and director. In 1963 and 1964, he played in the group W's Boys, whose members’ names all started with W: Wagner (Tiso), Waltinho, Wilson and Wanderley, which caused Milton to temporarily change his name to "Wilton".
Later on, Nascimento moved to Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais, to do a degree course in Economics. There, he met with musicians who would became his long-term music partners, such as Márcio Borges, his brother Lô Borges and Fernando Brant. In Belo Horizonte, Nascimento played in several bands and in 1965 he moved to Rio de Janeiro, recording with the group Sambacana. In 1966 and 67, Nascimento took part in music festivals; his song "Travessia" (co-written by Fernando Brant) was placed second at a festival and Milton won an award for best performer. In that same year, Milton recorded his first album, and in 1968, on a trip to the U.S., he recorded the album "Courage".
In the years to follow, Nascimento recorded some of his most popular works: "Milton", "Minas", "Gerais" "Milagre dos Peixes" and the two volumes of "Clube da Esquina", which launched several musicians from Minas Gerais, like Lô Borges, Beto Guedes, Toninho Horta, Wagner Tiso, Nivaldo Ornellas, Nelson Ângelo, Tavito and others. In the 70's, some of his songs were censored by the military regime and he made other albums in the U.S. with Airto Moreira, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and others.
Milton Nascimento is regarded as one of the greatest Brazilian pop singers both in Brazil and abroad. Nascimento is also an outstanding composer who has influenced generations of musicians.
In 1998, Milton's album "Nascimento" won a Grammy for best World Music Record of the Year.