Born in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores, Nuno Bettencourt grew up in a very musical family in Boston, Massachusetts. During his teenage years, Nuno began playing drums, bass, and keyboards, but ultimately chose guitar as his primary instrument. As a guitarist, one of his earliest influences was Eddie Van Halen. As he developed his craft as a guitarist and songwriter, however, his influences ran the spectrum of The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Prince, Queen, The Pat Travers Band, and many more.
Nuno rose to international prominence after he joined the Boston-area group Extreme. Signed to A&M Records, Extreme released its debut CD, Extreme in 1989. In 1990, Extreme released their most critically acclaimed album Pornograffiti, which included the hits More Than Words and Hole Hearted reaching #1 and #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, respectively. The band followed it with III Sides to Every Story in 1992, for which Nuno composed and arranged the full orchestra, and their final album Waiting for the Punchline, in 1995.
At the same time, Nuno cultivated his skills as a songwriter and producer. In 1993, he co-wrote and produced Where Are You Going for the movie Super Mario Bros. He also joined Robert Palmer in the studio.
After Extreme broke up in 1996, Nuno released his 1997 solo debut, Schizophonic, on which he played all instruments. He then assembled a new group, Mourning Widows, and incorporated a variety of alternative/rock styles into their two albums: Mourning Widows and Furnished Souls for Rent. Both releases cultivated strong followings in Japan and in the New England area.
Subsequently, Nuno formed the recording entity Population 1 (whose name later changed to DramaGods) and released the self-titled and self-produced 2002 release, Population 1, on Universal/Japan and YBM/Korea, and the follow-up Sessions from Room Four in 2004. He also reunited with Extreme in the late 2000s to release two new albums: Saudades De Rock and Take Us Alive.
Nuno is actively involved in all facets of the music industry and beyond. He has collaborated with artists as diverse as Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction, John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, Pearl Jam, Kings of Leon, Incubus, and Rihanna. He scored the 2008 film Smart People starring Elliot Page and Sarah Jessica Parker, and his iconic songs can be heard in innumerable shows and movies, including The Mentalist, The Tonight Show, Glee, and The Handmaids Tale.