Brazilian singer-turned-politician GILBERTO GIL has stepped down from his role as the government's Minister of Culture to focus on his music career.
The 66-year-old became only the second black person to serve in the Brazilian cabinet, after being handpicked by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in 2003.
However, he announced on Wednesday (30Jul08) that he has resigned from office - months after initially trying to quit.
The renowned singer/guitarist - who had put his music career on hold while in government - admitted during a press conference that he had attempted to step down twice since late 2007, but President Lula had refused to accept it.
His third resignation letter was accepted though, and the Brazilian leader paid tribute to Gil, saying he was "going back to being a great artist, going back to giving priority to what is most important" to him.
Gil told reporters he felt "calm" over the decision, adding: "I feel like I have come full circle and I want to remove myself. I felt a big pressure on my artistic work that was accumulating."
Gil's executive secretary Juca Ferreira will be taking over his post.