Astrud Gilberto, the Brazilian singer best known for her smooth performance of “The Girl from Ipanema,” has died at age 83.
Paul Ricci, a family friend and musician, confirmed her death in a Facebook post.
“She was an important part of ALL that is Brazilian music in the world and she changed many lives with her energy,” Ricci said Tuesday.
The vocalist’s granddaughter, Sofia Gilberto, also remembered her in a touching post on Instagram. “I love and will love Astrud forever, and she was the face and voice of bossa nova around most of planet,” she wrote. “Astrud will forever be in our hearts, and right now we have to celebrate Astrud.”
“Thewritten by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes, was already a hit in South America in the 1960s, but it came to the U.S. in 1964 when a producer on the “Getz/Gilberto” album, which featured Gilberto’s former husband and jazz legend Stan Getz, saw an opportunity to expand its appeal by including English lyrics.
As they recorded, Astrud Gilberto was called upon to sing some of the song’s lyrics in English because she knew “just enough” of the language, the Associated Press reported.
The rest is history. Astrud Gilberto became an overnight sensation and helped popularized bossa nova around the world.
“The Girl from Ipanema” went on to win a Grammy in 1965 for record of the year, and she earned nominations for best new artist and best vocal performance. Gilberto was originally not credited on the track and she only received the standard $120 session fee for her performance, according to the BBC.
But Gilberto went on to work with artists and producers like Quincy Jones and George Michael. She released multiple albums and put out her last one, “Jungle,” in 2002.
She was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Latin Grammys in 2008.
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