Abel Federico Pintos was born in Buenos Aires Province on May 11, 1984, in the city of Bahía Blanca, but was brought up in Cutra Có, Neuquén Province. He made his first steps into music at the age of 7, when he was chosen to sing at a commemoration event for José de San Martín taking place at his school. In the audience was a representative from the municipal government who, impressed by his voice, invited Pintos to sing at another event commemorating the founding of Ingeniero White, his town in the south of Buenos Aires province. He performed three songs at this event: one by Víctor Heredia, another by León Gieco, and the third by Horacio Guarany. Following this performance he started to gain recognition, and launched his musical career thereafter. His early career was boosted by a string of lucky breaks: first, tango singer Raúl Lavié travelled to Bahía Blanca on a tour called Tango en la Bahía ("Tango by the bay"), where he heard Pintos sing. On that day, Pintos had a demo-tape of his recordings and gave it to Lavié who in turn handed it on to Pity Iñurrigarro, then producer for León Gieco. Iñurrigarro organised a record deal with Sony Music through his producer Abraxas.
Pintos then went to Buenos Aires, where he was personally introduced to León Gieco, who then supported him and produced his first release. Para cantar he nacido ("I Was Born To Sing") became the title of his first record which he made during the month of March in the ION studios, consisting of 18 covers of popular songs by artists such as Horacio Banegas, Carlos Carabajal, Peteco Carabajal, Raúl Carnota, Atahualpa Yupanqui, César Isella and Bebe Ponti. The album's leading single was the title track of Para canter he nacido, for which he received awards at Argentina's most prestigious folk music festivals. Pintos commented himself that his debut album was replete with expectations, anxiety and "excesses of adrenaline". While retrospectively he sees it as an album that was not recorded hastily, he has since acknowledged that his approach to recording an album has changed since Para cantar he nacido.
At the 38th Cosquín Festival, Pintos was granted the opportunity to perform three times on the festival's main stage. The first occasion was on January 28, where he sang three songs from his first album. The first of these was "Cuando llegue el alba" ("When Dawn Comes") (which he performed as a duet with León Gieco), the second was "El 180", and the final was the lead single of "Para cantar he nacido". His performance met with positive reception from the crowd, at which point he was invited by the festival's organisers to perform twice more, on January 31 and then February 1. It was on this day that he received the "special mention" from the folk music commission, and the Gold Award of the Cosquín Festival, presented to up-and-coming artists by the Argentinian Society of Authors and Songwriters (SADAIC).
On March 1, 1998, he performed at Buenos Aires Vivo II, a show organised by the Buenos Aires city government, where he shared the stage with León Gieco to perform "Cuando llegue el alba" and "Para cantar he nacido".
Following the success of his debut album, Pintos turned to creating a second album: Todos los días un poco (A Little Bit Everyday), in which he was to infuse classic songs by popular performers with his own compositional style, with the aim of showcasing his own unique flair and vocal characteristics. The album was released in March 1999, under the executive production of Pity Iñurrigarro, Luis Gurevich and Roly Hernández. Notable songs from this album included: Haracio Guarany's "Cuando nadie te nombre" (When Nobody Mentions You), Atahualpa Yupanqui's "La tucumanita" (The Girl From Tucuman), Cuti Carabajal's "La Sacha Pera", Eduardo Falú's "Tonada del viejo amor" (Melody Of Old Love), León Gieco's "Todos los días un poco" (A Little Bit Everyday) and a humorous take on a traditional Argentine folk dance by Horacio Fontova called "Que viva la chacarera" (Long Live The Chacarera). The leading single, "Ojos de cielo" (Eyes of the Heavens) by Víctor Heredia, was recorded with the Kennedy Chorus of Buenos Aires. Alongside him in concert and in the recording studio were his brother Ariel Pintos (lead guitar and post-production), his father Raúl Pintos (percussion), Diego Simonovich (backing guitar and post-production), Edgardo Peralta (rhythm guitar and charango) and Waldo Graff (keyboard).
In the summer of 2000, Abel Pintos performed in several prestigious festivals around Argentina, including the 2000 Cosquín Festival and the Jesús María Festival in the province of Córdoba. He released Cosas del corazón (Things of the Heart) on December 19, 2001, which was made possible by collaboration with musicians such as Domingo Cura and the Bandoneon player Carlos Buono. The record was produced by Martín Carrizo, and was recorded in Palermo, Buenos Aires. Although Cosas del corazón was released with a tight commercial strategy, it did not achieve the success that Pintos has hoped for. The main reason for this was that it was released two days before the economic crash and riots of December 2001. Abel Pintos deemed it to be one of his best records, being a "hinge between the vibes of previous albums". It was the first album which drew together influences from Central American music, and Argentinian folk and rock music. From Cosas del corazón onwards, Pintos started to develop a unique, eclectic musical style which would consolidate in later albums.
By the end of 2003, after a hiatus, Abel Pintos returned to the studio to record his own songs and exhibit his development as an artist in his own right. From April 2005, pianist Alfredo "Fredy" Hernández joined his touring and recording band line-up.
2004 saw Pintos release Sentidos (Meanings), something of a new start for Pintos, given that it was the first album he had recorded in three years. After a dip in record sales, Sentidos was the first album to be released with a major record label, Sony BMG. In February 2004 he performed in the Viña del Mar International Song Festival, competing in the Festival's folk section with the song "Bailando con tu sombra (Alelí)" (Dancing With Your Shadow), written by Víctor Heredia. The performance earned him the ceremony's "Gaviotas de Plata" (Silver Seagull) award, the top award of competition – one for the Winning Song and another for the Best Performer.
Pintos' 2005 album Reflejo real (Real Reflection) marked a move in his career towards a more sophisticated and personal compositional style. The album drew upon the creative development of his two previous albums Cosas del corazón and Sentidos.
On July 10, 2012, Pintos released Sueño Dorado (Golden Dream), a CD/DVD Greatest Hits compilation featuring songs from across the 15 years of his career. In less than one week, Sueño Dorado was awarded Gold status, and after seven months attained Double Platinum status. The first single from the album was "Cactus", a cover of a song of the same name by Gustavo Cerati, released on June 19. The DVD was recorded live in Quilmes, a village of ancient Native American ruins in Tucumán province between May 8–10, 2012. A few days beforehand, the Spanish band La oreja de Van Gogh recorded their own DVD Cometas por el Cielo – En directo desdo América, with Abel Pintos in the audience while having his final rehearsals. The line-up in Pintos' performance was a selection of songs taken from distinct moments throughout his career as a songwriter and performer, in which he combined acoustic, folk and electronic soundscapes. The concert took place at dawn, as the sun began to light up the landscape. The technical recording team was made up of over fifty people, and the production went ahead with the permission of the local indigenous communities.
The 2013 album ABEL met with positive reception from critics and fans alike. The first single from the album, "Aquí te espero" (I'm Waiting For You Here), was released on October 9, 2013, and became Triple-Platinum in less than a month from its initial release. On the reason for giving the album his first name, Pintos commented:
"I've brought in music beyond any specific genres; I've brought in songs that touch upon my own feelings, yet at the same time, in every song, I've incorporated ideas, emotions and experiences that life has put in my way. It's for this reason that the title of this album is, and always will be, my own name: ABEL"
Para cantar he nacido (1998)
Todos los días un poco (1999)
Cosas del corazón (2001)
Reflejo real (2005)
La llave (2007)
Sueño dorado (2012)
Recognition Award Cosquín Festival, Argentina – 2008
“Francisco Canaro” SADAIC Award (Argentinian Society of Authors and Songwriters) for New Artists – 2007
Best New Folk Album/Artist Award at Premios Gardel – 2006
Best New Folk Album/Artist at Premios Gardel – 2005
Performer of Best Song Award at XLV Viña del Mar International Song Festival, Chile – 2004
Best Performer Award at XLV Viña del Mar International Song Festival, Chile – 2004
Best Newcomer Award at Baradero Festival, Argentina – 2002
Best Newcomer Award at Jesús María Festival, Argentina – 2001
Special Mention by SADAIC at Cosquín Festival, Argentina – 1998
Newcomer Award at Cosquín Festival, Argentina – 1998
Patron of "Festival of Popular Music" in San Justo, Santa Fe, Argentina
(He was given a recognition award for being the patron of the Festival of Popular Music by the Football Sub-commission of Colón de San Justo FC.)