(CelebrityAccess) – João Gilberto, singer, songwriter, guitarist, and a foundational figure in the world of contemporary Brazillian bossa nova has died. He was 88.
His son, João Marcelo Gilberto, confirmed his father’s passing on social media but did not provide additional details.
Gilberto helped to redefine the sound of Brazillian Samba music, starting in 1958 with his single “Chega de Saudade.”
His early recordings, captured on 78 RPM records, featured a rhythmically complex musical style that fused fingerpicked guitar and vocals with more traditional samba percussion, paving the way for the sound that would become known as the bossa nova, or new wave.
Gilberto’s other important recordings include “O Amor, o Sorriso e a Flor,” and “Getz/Gilberto” which captured his 1963 collaboration with jazz legend Stan Getz, helped to popularize the bossa nova sound with American jazz aficionados, winning multiple Grammys in 1965, including Best Album.
In 1997, Gilberto, who was famously particular about recordings, sued his longtime label EMI, claiming his first three albums had been poorly remastered for a 1992 CD reissue. The remastered albums were eventually removed from the market but the case was not fully settled until 2015 when the Brazillian Supreme Court ruled in favor of Gilberto.
In 2017, it was revealed that Gilberto was facing financial hardship, and his daughter took over his finances amid his apparently declining health.