Mas que Nada

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"Mas que Nada"
Song by Jorge Ben from the album 'Samba Esquema Novo'
LanguageBrazilian Portuguese
WriterJorge Ben
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"Mas que Nada"
Song by Jorge Ben from the album 'Samba Esquema Novo'
LanguageBrazilian Portuguese
WriterJorge Ben

"Mas que Nada" is a song written and originally performed by Jorge Ben on his debut album, which in a later cover version became the signature song of Sérgio Mendes.


The meaning of the title

In Brazilian Portuguese slang, mas que nada (literally, "but, that [is] nothing") means "come on", "no way", or "Yeah, right!" In many recordings, the title song is colloquially spelled "Mais que nada", Portuguese for "more than nothing".

The title should not be confused with the Spanish más que nada meaning "more than anything" - in the sense of "mainly" or "principally".

Interpretations other than Jorge Ben's

Mendes covered the song on his album Sérgio Mendes & Brasil '66 (1966). In the United States, the single reached #47 on the Billboard pop chart, as well as #4 on the easy listening chart.

Other Brazilian artists who recorded the song include Elza Soares and Maria Creuza.

Dizzy Gillespie included a cover version on his album Swing Low, Sweet Cadillac (1967).

A Moog version is featured on Perrey and Kingsley's album, Kaleidoscopic Vibrations: Spotlight on the Moog (1967).

A rumba version is featured on the album Patato & Totico by Patato Valdes and Totico Arango (1968).

Klaus Wunderlich opened his first UK LP, Organized (1968) with the track.

The Chopsticks, a Hong Kong female duo, covered this song on their first LP The Chopsticks: Sandra and Amina (1970).

The Sacramento Freelancers Drum and Bugle Corps performed this song as part of their 1976 show.

Chris Waxman released a spirited version during this period, performed on the Hammond Organ as well, for a special Phase 4 Stereo album (London/Decca SP 44119).

Bossa nova singer Sitti from the Philippines did a remake of this song, which is included on her album, Café Bossa.

Al Jarreau also did a cover version on his 1994 album Tenderness.

French jazz guitarist Marc Antoine performed an instrumental version on his album Cruisin' (2001). Echobeatz released a cover version in 1997, and a house/dance version in 1998.

L.A. Transit performed a version on the Denon Jazz Sampler Vol. 1 (1985).

Serbian pop singer Madame Piano also covered it, while Croatian cellist Walter Despalj did an arrangement of the song for a group of cellos. Swedish singer Lill Lindfors has also covered this song.

Nike used a 1963 cover by Tamba Trio in an advertising campaign for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, prompting that version of the song to crack the UK Top 40, reaching Number 34 in the summer of 1998.

Ava Leigh has covered the song. This version has recently been used in UK television commercials for clothing chain Next.

Jessy J recorded a cover of this song in her album Tequila Moon (2008).

Covered by Jane McDonald in her 7th album 'Jane' in 2008.

Miriam Makeba covered the song on Miriam Makeba In Concert! (1967) and Live from Paris & Conakry (1996).

The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet recorded a version for their 2007 album LAGQ Brazil.

The Idea of North perform "Mas Que Nada" a cappella, and have recorded a version on The Sum of Us (2001) featuring James Morrison on trombone.

Nossa released a version in 2012.

"Timeless" version by Sergio Mendes and The Black Eyed Peas

"Mas que Nada"
Single by Sérgio Mendes featuring The Black Eyed Peas
from the album Timeless
ReleasedMay 29, 2006
FormatCD single, Digital download
GenreMPB, alternative hip hop
Length3:32 (Single Version)
4:22 (Album Version)
Writer(s)Jorge Ben
The Black Eyed Peas chronology
"Pump It"
"Mas Que Nada"
"Boom Boom Pow"

Song information

In 2006, Mendes re-recorded the song with The Black Eyed Peas and additional vocals by Mendes' wife, Gracinha Leporace; a version that is included on his album Timeless. In Brazil, the song is well known for being the theme song for the local television channel Globo's Estrelas. The Black Eyed Peas' version also contains a sample of their 2004 hit "Hey Mama". The re-recorded song became popular on many European charts. On the UK Singles Chart, the song entered at #29 and rose to and peaked at #6 on its second week on the chart. The song appeared as part of the EA Sports FIFA World Cup 2006 video game and NBA Live 2007 video game. This version was also included in the Rio film soundtrack and in an episode of 90210.[1]


  1. "Mas Que Nada" (Radio Edit) - 3:33
  2. "Mas Que Nada" (Masters at Work Remix) - 8:03
  3. "Mas Que Nada" (Original Brazil '66 Version) - 2:41


Chart (2006)Peak
Austrian Top 758
Czech IFPI Chart6
Dutch Top 401
French Top 10040
German Top 1009
Hungarian Airplay Chart1
Italian Top 5022
Swiss Top 1004
UK Singles Chart6


United Kingdom71,750

It is used in Disney's Animal Kingdom, "Mickey's Jammin Jungle Parade" in Orlando, Florida.

Ava Leigh version

"Mad About the Boy/Mas que Nada"
Single by Ava Leigh
from the album Rollin'
A-side"Mad About the Boy"
Released5 May 2008
FormatDigital download
Writer(s)Jorge Ben

British singer Ava Leigh covered the song for her debut album, Rollin'. The song was released as a Double-A side with popular song, "Mad About the Boy". The song gained popularity after being featured in the UK summer adverts for clothing chain Next. A music video was filmed for "Mad About the Boy" and shows Leigh walking through various places singing the song.


Charts (2008)Peak
UK Singles Chart1281

1 Note that it was "Mad About the Boy" which charted in the UK Singles Chart