RIO DE JANEIRO (CelebrityAccess) — Gal Costa, a Grammy-winning Brazilian singer and leading figure in the Tropicalia music scene of the late 1960s, died on Wednesday. She was 77.
A representative for Costa confirmed her passing to the Associated Press but did not provide any information about a cause of death.
After news of her passing broke, Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inácio da Silva paid tribute to the late pop icon, tweeting: “The country, which Gal Costa used to sing to show her face, today loses one of its great voices. But the legacy, the work, the memory and the songs will be eternal like your name Gal. My condolences and sympathies to family, friends and millions of admirers.”
Born in Bahia in 1945, Costa became interested in Bossa Nova while she was a teenager. After finding employment in a record store in Bahia’s capital Salvador, she was introduced to Caetano Veloso and became close friends with the legendary composer and musician.
She launched a career as a successful singer in 1964, appearing at a concert in her hometown alongside Veloso, Gil, Maria Bethânia and Tom Zé, among others. She released her debut album in Domingo in 1967, notching up a major hit with “Coração Vagabundo.”
The following year, she began recording Tropicália music, fusing Brazilian pop music with a psychedelic rock aesthetic and featuring contributions from performers such as Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil.
In the late 1970s, she was part of the Brazilian supergroup Doces Bárbaros that also included Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Maria Bethânia.
In 2011, Costa was awarded a Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.