Astrud Gilberto, the Brazilian singer whose soft, beguiling voice made “The Girl from Ipanema” a worldwide sensation in the 1960s and provided a huge boost to the budding bossa nova genre, has died at age 83, her family said.
“I come bearing the sad news that my grandmother became a star today and is next to my grandfather Joao Gilberto,” Sofia Gilberto wrote on social media early Tuesday.
The singer died at home in Philadelphia, in the United States, where she had lived since the 1960s, according to Brazilian news site G1.
Gilberto was born in Salvador, capital of Brazil’s northeastern state of Bahia, in 1940 and was married to Joao Gilberto, a pioneer of the bossa nova genre who died in 2019.
Astrud Gilberto recorded 19 albums in her career, but she had little professional music experience when she turned “The Girl from Ipanema” – the now-classic song by Tom Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes – into a global smash, singing the English verses alongside American saxophonist Stan Getz and her guitar-playing then-husband.
The version made Astrud Gilberto the first Brazilian to be nominated for a Grammy – which she won, for song of the year, in 1965.