Astrud Gilberto, the Brazilian vocalist best known for singing “The Girl From Ipanema,” has died. She was 83.
Gilberto gained international attention in the 1960s when she recorded the song with Stan Getz. Their version of the tune by Antônio Carlos Jobim was a worldwide hit, selling more than 5 million copies, winning the Grammy for record of the year, and helping to popularize the bossa nova sound.
Sofia Gilberto, the singer’s granddaughter, announced the news in an Instagram post: “I’m here to bring you the sad news that my grandmother became a star today, and is next to my grandfather João Gilberto.”
Paul Ricci, a collaborator with Gilberto, also confirmed the news. “I just got word from her son Marcelo that we have lost Astrud Gilberto,” he wrote 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.”
Born Astrud Evangelina Weinert in the state of Bahia, Brazil, in 1940, Gilberto was raised in Rio de Janeiro by her Brazilian mother and German father. She married João Gilberto in 1959 and had a son, João Marcelo Gilberto. Astrud and João divorced in the mid-1960s. Astrud immigrated to the U.S. in 1963.
In her first professional recording, Astrud Gilberto sang on two tracks — “The Girl From Ipanema” and “Corcovado” — on the now-classic 1963 album Getz/Gilberto featuring Stan Getz, João Gilberto, and Antônio Carlos Jobim. “The Girl From Ipanema” became a global hit and established Astrud Gilberto as a pillar of bossa nova.
In 1965, she released first solo album, The Astrud Gilberto Album. By the 1970s, she had branched out from singing bossa nova and American jazz standards to record her own compositions. The multilingual vocalist recorded songs in Portuguese, English, Spanish, Italian, French, German and Japanese. She went on to release 15 studio albums of her own before unofficially retiring in 2002.
In 1992, Gilberto received the Latin Jazz USA Award for lifetime achievement. In 2002, she was inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame. In 2008, she was given a lifetime achievement award by the Latin Grammys.