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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.

Here’s the Rolling Stone obit. And The New York Times.

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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