Nuno Bettencourt

Guitar virtuoso Nuno Bettencourt made his name with the eclectic pop-metal outfit Extreme during the height of the guitar-shredder era, and embarked on a solo career after the band's breakup. As a soloist, Bettencourt's most immediately recognizable influence was Eddie Van Halen, but as a songwriter, he might draw from Queen, the Beatles, Prince, and anything in between. The youngest of ten children in a musical family, Bettencourt was born Nuno Duarte Gil Mendes Bettencourt in the town of Praia da Vitoria, on the island of Terceira in the Azores (an archipelago governed by Portugal) on September 20, 1966. His family moved to Boston when he was four and he began playing music as a teenager, trying out drums, bass, and keyboards, but settling on guitar. Bettencourt played in several area bands, sometimes with his brothers, and joined Extreme in 1985; after becoming quite popular locally, the group signed with A&M and released their debut album in 1989. Three more albums followed, plus a number one pop single in the acoustic ballad "More Than Words," before the band called it quits in 1996. In addition, Bettencourt produced and guested on the second album by Australian hard rockers Baby Animals in 1993; the following year, he married the group's lead singer, Suze DeMarchi.

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