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R.I.P. Astrud Gilberto

Farewell to Astrud Gilberto, the one-of-a-kind Brazilian singer with the unique voice.

By the time I was a kid, “The Girl From Ipanema” was the stereotypical elevator music:

But I love this song! What a masterpiece:

And Gilberto’s voice: I’ve heard it described as a little flat, or a little odd, or affectless, or having a bit of a lisp—but whatever it is, it’s just a marvel.

It’s certainly a stroke of genius to take what singers were known for—the stage presence, the evocation, the big voices—and do the complete opposite: just stand there and recite the lyrics, almost without effort. And it apparently came to her completely naturally.

Certainly, she has one of the most immediately identifiable voices ever:

I love her performances of Ennio Morricone themes, particularly this one:

So farewell to one of the greats!

Covering Nino Rota:

And Harry Nilsson!

Amazing footage:

What a legacy!

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