Astrud Gilberto, best known for the first song she ever recorded, "Girl From Ipanema," died yesterday at age 83.
The Brazilian samba and bossa nova singer got her break in 1963, when she traveled with then husband, "father of bossa nova" João Gilberto, from Rio DeJaneiro to New York so that he could record an album with jazz musician Stan Getz. The two musicians invited Astrud, "an untested singer," to sing two songs on their album, including "Ipanema." Getz accurately predicted, "This song is going to make you famous."
Her career spanned over four decades, in which she "toured with Getz, collaborated with Chet Baker and released some 16 studio albums," according to Variety. (See YouTube video above, in which she sings "Girl from Ipanema" in the 1964 beach party movie, Get Yourself a College Girl.)
Her son Marcelo announced the news of her death to musician and family friend Paul Ricci, who then announced it on Facebook without details.
From The New York Times:
Ms. Gilberto enjoyed a four-decade recording career, recording albums with celebrated musicians like James Last and Gil Evans as well as working with George Michael, Chet Baker and others. But her biggest success came with "The Girl From Ipanema," written by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luiz Bonfa, with English lyrics by Norman Gimbel. …
Exactly who had the idea to involve Ms. Gilberto, an untested singer, on the album, later released as titled "Getz/Gilberto," is unclear Some credit its producer, Creed Taylor; others credit Ms. Gilberto. The singer herself credited her husband.
"While rehearsing with Stan in the song 'The Girl From Ipanema,' João casually asked me to join in and sing a chorus in English after he had just sung the first chorus in Portuguese," Ms. Gilberto said in a 2002 interview for her official website. "Stan was very receptive. I'll never forget that while we were listening back to the just recorded version, Stan said to me, 'This song is going to make you famous.'"
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