The Latin music community is mourning the loss of a legend. Brazilian singer Astrud Gilberto, known for her hit song, “The Girl From Ipanema,” has died. She was 83. The news was confirmed on Tuesday by her granddaughter, Sofia Gilberto.
Sofia’s post included a series of pictures and videos of Gilberto performing over an original song she recorded for her granddaughter.
“My grandma Astrud Gilberto made this song for me, it’s called Linda Sofia 🌸 She even wanted my name to be Linda Sofia 🌼 Life is beautiful, as the song says, but I’m here to bring you the sad news that my grandmother became a star today✨🌟✨ and is next to my grandfather João Gilberto,” the post read in Portuguese.
“Astrud was the real girl who took bossa nova from Ipanema to the world. She was the pioneer and the best. At the age of 22, she gave voice to the English version of ‘Girl From Ipanema’ and gained international fame. The song, a bossa nova anthem, became the second most played in the world mainly because of her. I love and will love Astrud forever and she was the face and voice of bossa nova in most parts of the planet. Astrud will forever be in our hearts🎶💖 and right now we have to celebrate Astrud,” the post continued.
Paul Ricci, who was a frequent collaborator with Gilberto took to Facebook to share the news — which he received from her son.
“I just got word from her son Marcelo that we have lost Astrud Gilberto,” he wrote. “He asked for this to be posted. She was an important part of ALL that is Brazilian music in the world and she changed many lives with her energy. RIP from the “chief” as she called me. Thanks AG.”
Gilberto’s rise to fame happened by chance. In 1963, while traveling to New York City with her then-husband, João Gilberto, and Brazilian bossa nova star Antônio Carlos Jobim, the Brazil native was asked by a producer if there was someone who spoke English who could help “The Girl From Ipanema” reach an American audience.
Gilberto was the only person on hand who could — and the rest was history as she recorded the English version of the track.
After the original version of “The Girl From Ipanema” was re-recorded with only her vocals, she was finally given credit for her work on the song, which earned her a GRAMMY in the Song of the Year category.
From the ’70s to the ’80s, Gilberto recorded a series of jazz albums. In 2002, she released her final album before leaving her career in music behind. In addition to her GRAMMY, Gilberto was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Latin GRAMMYs in 2008, and was inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame.
Gilberto leaves behind her two sons, Marcelo and Gregory.