Astrud Gilberto
Astrud Gilberto in 1965 | Photo by Rowntree/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

‘The Girl from Ipanema’ Singer Astrud Gilberto Has Died Aged 83

Astrud Gilberto, the Brazilian singer whose vocals feature on Stan Getz and João Gilberto’s classic 1963 recording of ‘The Girl from Ipanema’, has died. According to reports, Gilberto passed away on Monday (5th June) at her home in Philadelphia at the age of 83. No cause of death was disclosed.

The news was confirmed to The Independent by Gilberto’s son Marcelo. Gilberto’s granddaughter Sofia Gilberto also confirmed her death on social media. “Life is beautiful, as the song says, but I bring the sad news that my grandmother became a star today and is next to my grandfather Joao Gilberto,” she wrote in Portuguese in a statement on Facebook. “I love and will love Astrud eternally and she was the face and voice of bossa nova on most of the planet.”

Astrud Gilberto Performs ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ with Stan Getz

Born Astrud Weinert in Salvador in 1940, Astrud Gilberto rose to prominence at the age of 22, when she sang vocals on her then-husband João Gilberto and American saxophonist Stan Getz’ 1963 album Getz/Gilberto. The album was one of several that popularised bossa nova, blending Brazilian samba music with “cool jazz”, and contained a hit with ‘The Girl from Ipanema’, which Astrud performed on. The album won three Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, but Astrud received little remuneration for her contribution to the recording.

Astrud Gilberto’s music career took off, with the singer later moving to the United States and touring with Getz. She and João Gilberto divorced in 1964. The following year, she released her debut solo album, The Astrud Gilberto Album, featuring ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ writer Antonio Carlos Jobim, who played piano on the Getz/Gilberto version.

Gilberto went on to record over a dozen solo albums over the years, moving between pop and jazz standards, Brazilian classics and her own compositions, in Portuguese, English, Japanese and other languages. She collaborated with a range of artists, including George Michael. In 2002, Gilberto announced she was taking an indefinite break from the music industry.

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