'The Girl from Ipanema' singer Astrud Gilberto dies, aged 83

6 June 2023, 13:11 | Updated: 13 October 2023, 14:16

Astrud Gilberto – The Girl From Ipanema
Astrud Gilberto – The Girl From Ipanema. Picture: Getty Images

By Mayer Nissim

Astrud Gilberto became a bossa nova superstar after her hit recording of 'The Girl From Ipanema'.

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Astrud Gilberto has died at the age of 83.

The Brazilian samba and bossa nova singer became an international superstar with her 1963 recording of 'The Girl From Ipanema'.

News of her passing was confirmed by a collaborator Paul Ricci.

"I just got word from her son Marcelo that we have lost Astrud Gilberto. He asked for this to be posted," Paul said on Facebook.

"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."

Astrud Gilberto With Stan Getz - Girl From Ipanema (1964)

'Garota de Ipanema' ('The Girl from Ipanema') was written in 1962 and first recorded by Pery Ribeiro that year, but it was a recording by Stan Getz featuring Astrud in her vocal debut that became a globe-conquering hit.

Astrud was only in the studio to accompany her then-husband João Gilberto, when he asked for her to sing the English part of the track.

The single went to number 29 in the UK, and all the way to number five on the Billboard Hot 100.

Astrud Gilberto at the Jazz Cafe
Astrud Gilberto at the Jazz Cafe. Picture: Getty Images

'The Girl from Ipanema' is thought to be one of the most-covered songs in music history, just behind The Beatles' 'Yesterday'.

It was often flipped to 'The Boy to Ipanema', as when covered by Julie London, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, The Supremes, Shirley Bassey, Eartha Kitt and Petula Clark.

'The Girl from Ipanema' established Astrud as a global bossa nova star, though she is said to have failed to even receive her due $120 session fee for the recording, let alone any royalties from the hit.

Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz - The Girl From Ipanema (1964) LIVE

Following the hit single, Astrud toured bossa nova and jazz standards in the US and recorded a number of critically well-received albums on the Verve label in the 1960s.

Astrud went on to write and record albums in multiple languages in 1970, while her son Marcelo joined her band as a bassist in the 1980s.

She was given the Latin Jazz USA Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1992 and was inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame in 2002.

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