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Gilberto was awarded the Latin Jazz USA Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1992 and was inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame in 2002. Though her career was long and varied, she is still most widely known for her vocal debut.
“The Girl From Ipanema,” also known as “Garota de Ipanema,” was recorded in 1962 when Gilberto was 22 years old. The song quickly became a worldwide hit and won a Grammy for Record of the Year, launching the singer to international fame. Despite the fact that Gilberto’s performance was instrumental to the song’s success, she was reportedly not credited on the track and only received the standard recording fee of $120.
But Gilberto leveraged her newfound recognition into a career. In 1964, Gilberto starred in “Get Yourself a College Girl” and “The Hanged Man.” A year later she debuted her first solo album, “The Astrud Gilberto Album.”
Though she started as a jazz and bossa nova singer, Gilberto expanded her musical horizons. Over the course of her career, she recorded songs in Portuguese, English, Spanish, Italian, French, German and Japanese. She also worked with her son Marcelo for more than a decade, touring with him as her bassist.
Gilberto’s work has appeared in several films over the years. Her recording of “Fly Me to the Moon” was edited as a duet for “Down with Love’s” soundtrack, and “Once I Loved” appeared in the 2007 film “Juno.” Additionally, her recording of “Who Can I Turn To?” was sampled by The Black Eyed Peas for their song “Like That,” and Gilberto’s vocals on “Berimbau” were sampled by Cut Chemist in his song “The Garden”.
In 2002, Gilberto announced she was taking “indefinite time off” from public performances.