Astrud Gilberto

Forever known as ‘the Girl from Ipanema’ after the award-winning 1964 international hit with which she made her name, the smoky-voiced Astrud Gilberto – born in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil on March 29, 1940 - is synonymous with bossa nova, samba, and Latin jazz music. The daughter of a Brazilian mother and a German father, she was raised in the Bahia area of Brazil but emigrated to the US following her marriage to the Brazilian singer and guitarist João Gilberto in 1963. She did little singing herself at this time but, following their divorce, had a relationship with jazz saxophonist and composer Stan Getz, who persuaded her to sing two songs on the 1964 album Getz/Gilberto. One of those songs was the sensual single “The Girl From Ipanema,” with music composed by Antõnio Carlos Jobim. It sold over a million copies, made her a star all over the world, and she became the poster girl of the widening interest in the atmospheric new fusion of jazz and samba that was dubbed bossa nova. She issued her debut solo album, The Astrud Gilberto Album, in 1965 and quickly followed it with several more albums including The Shadow of Your Smile (1965), Look to the Rainbow (1966), Beach Samba (1967), and A Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness (1967). In the 1970s, she concentrated on recording her own compositions in various languages including Portuguese, English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Japanese. She collaborated with jazz saxophonist Stanley Turrentine on the 1971 album Gilberto with Turrentine. Astrud Gilberto remained a popular recording artist and concert performer with a band that included her son Marcelo on bass and Gregory on guitar. However, after the release of the album Jungle in 2002, she announced she was taking an indefinite hiatus from performing and recording. Her influence, however, has remained strong and her exceptional voice has been sampled on tracks by Black Eyed Peas and Cut Chemist. Over the course of her career, she released 16 studio albums, two live albums, 16 singles, three soundtracks and over two dozen compilations including Talkin’ Verve (1998), Astrud Gilberto’s Finest Hour (2001), Astrud for Lovers (2004), and Gold (2008). She was honored with a Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. Astrud Gilberto died on June 5, 2023, at the age of 83.

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