The Brazilian singer and composer João Gilberto, one of the pioneers of bossa nova, died in Rio de Janeiro, according to Agencia Brasil, the country’s official news agency.
He was 88. The cause of death was not disclosed.
Gilberto was a giant of bossa nova, and is often credited with helping develop the sound of the genre that brought Brazilian music to the world.
The musician’s famous collaboration with the American jazz saxophonist Stan Getz, “Getz/Gilberto,” won album of the year at the Grammy Awards in 1965. It’s still only one of a few jazz albums to do so, according to Columbia University’s Department of Music, which awarded Gilberto an honorary doctorate of music in May 2017.
The album featured their rendition of the jazz standard “Garota de Ipanema,” or “The Girl from Ipanema,” which became a worldwide hit and peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100.
That song, composed by Antônio Carlos Jobim, is believed to be the second-most recorded pop song ever, behind The Beatles’ “Yesterday,” The Wall Street Journal reported in 2012, citing Performing Songwriter magazine. Gilberto’s then-wife, Astrud, sang lead vocals on “Ipanema.”
According to Agencia Brasil, Gilberto was last onstage in 2008 for the celebration of bossa nova’s 50th anniversary.