Astrud Gilberto, whose smooth, sexy vocal performance on « The Girl From Ipanema, » the first song she ever recorded, helped make the influence of Brazilian bossa nova a hit sound in the U.S. in the 1960s, is died on Monday. She was 83 years old.
Paul Ricci, a musician and family friend, announced on Facebook that Ms Gilberto’s son Marcelo said she had died and « asked for this to be published ». He did not provide further details.
Ms. Gilberto enjoyed a four-decade recording career, recording albums with celebrated musicians such as 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.
When Ms. Gilberto recorded that song, she was married to João Gilberto, the Brazilian singer and guitarist often referred to as the father of bossa nova. In 1963, the two traveled from Rio de Janeiro to New York City, where she was to record a joint album with jazz saxophonist Stan Getz, who had already released three albums mixing jazz with samba and bossa nova.
It is unclear who exactly had the idea to involve Ms. Gilberto, an untested singer, in the album, later released as titled « Getz/Gilberto ». Some credit its producer, Creed Taylor; others credit Signora Gilberto. The singer herself has credited her husband.
« While rehearsing with Stan on 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 site. “Stan has been very receptive. I’ll never forget that while we were listening to the newly recorded version, Stan said to me: ‘This song will make you famous’”.
A full obituary will appear shortly.