The Golden-crowned Manakin is the most recently described species of Pipridae, being initially discovered by Helmut Sick and Raimundo Costa in July 1957 near a small left-bank tributary of the upper Rio Cururu-ri in the east Brazilian Amazon. Named for the renowned Villas-Bôas brothers, explorers and champions of the rights of indigenous peoples, whom Sick had joined in 1946 on a famous overland expedition to the Rio Xingu, Golden-crowned Manakin slipped into relative obscurity during most of the 50 years following its discovery. This was due in part to doubts concerning the type locality as well as speculation that the species represented a hybrid between the Snow-capped Manakin (Lepidothrix nattereri) and the Opal-crowned Manakin (Lepidothrix iris). However, it was eventually rediscovered in 2002. Subsequent observations, and recent molecular work, have now satisfactorily discounted the hybrid hypothesis and demonstrated that the Golden-crowned Manakin is a valid species. Unfortunately, advancing deforestation within its undoubtedly small range also mean that this manakin has the dubious honor of being one of just three Pipridae to be considered globally threatened.