Astrud Gilberto, the Brazilian singer, songwriter and entertainer whose off-hand, English-language cameo on The Girl From Ipanema made her a worldwide voice of bossa nova, has died aged 83.
Musician Paul Ricci, a family friend, said she died on Monday but did not provide additional details.
Born in Salvador, Bahia, and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Gilberto became an overnight, unexpected superstar in 1964, thanks to knowing just enough English to be recruited by the makers of Getz/Gilberto, the classic bossa nova album featuring saxophonist Stan Getz and her then-husband, singer-songwriter-guitarist Joao Gilberto.
The Girl From Ipanema, the wistful ballad written by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes, was already a hit in South America.
But Getz/Gilberto producer Creed Taylor and others thought they could expand the record’s appeal by including both Portuguese and English language vocals.
Getz/Gilberto sold more than two million copies and The Girl From Ipanema, released as a single with Astrud Gilberto the only vocalist, became an all-time standard, often ranked just behind Yesterday as the most covered song in modern times.
The Girl From Ipanema won a Grammy in 1965 for record of the year and Gilberto received nominations for best new artist and best vocal performance.