Claudia Leitte started singing children's songs, while still young, then worked as a singer in bars. She was also the vocalist of several axé music bands. As a teenager she sang in trios elétricos. She became a professional singer when she was thirteen years old.
Leitte has been the vocalist of Salvador-based axé band Babado Novo since November 2001. Her band released five albums. The band's first album, named Sem Vergonha, released in 2003, sold more than 90,000 copies, being the band's first Gold disc, while the album named Uau! Babado Novo ao Vivo em Salvador, released in 2004, sold more than 100,000 CDs and more than 70,000 DVDs, and the fourth album, released in December 2005, named Diário de Claudinha (meaning Claudinha's Diary, Claudinha being Claudia Leitte's nickname) sold 70,000 copies in just one week.
As a member of the band, she was nominated for the 2007 MTV Video Music Brasil, promoted by MTV Brasil. Claudia Leitte has also won in 2007 the Brazilian Best Female Singer award, promoted by GloboRadio, beating Ivete Sangalo, Sandy, Ana Carolina and Maria Rita, and she and her band won the following Carnatal awards: best female singer, best band, best bloco, best music ("Exttravasa") and best artist. In January 2008, Leitte announced that she would be leaving her band, and starting a solo career, recording her first solo career DVD in February 2008 in Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro. On February 5, 2008, Claudia Leitte performed for the last time as a member of Babado Novo band. On February 17, 2008, at a show in Copacabana Beach, she performed her first live album as a solo singer, watched by 700,000 people. On July 4, 2008, her first solo CD and DVD, named Ao Vivo em Copacabana (meaning Live in Copacabana) was released at Credicard Hall, São Paulo.
Claudia Leitte was twice on the cover of Brazilian magazine VIP, published by Editora Abril, the first time being in February 2006, and the second time in February 2008. She was also on the cover of the August 2006 edition of Corpo a Corpo magazine. In 2008 she signed a three-year contract with AmBev to star Guaraná Antarctica ads, her first ad was broadcast on March 23. She sang for the Miss Universe competition swimsuit competition in São Paulo, with the new single "Locomotion Batucada". Claudia Leitte is one of the four judges/coaches of the Brazilian reality television show The Voice Brasil.