Gal Costa, an adventurous musician who was a pivotal figure in Brazil’s Tropicália movement in the 1960s, has died. She was 77.
Costa, born Maria da Graça Penna Burgos, died Wednesday, according to the Associated Press, which cited a press representative for the singer. No cause of death or additional details were provided.
“It is with deep sadness and a broken heart that we announce the death of singer Gal Costa this Wednesday morning, Nov. 9, in São Paulo,” said a statement posted to her official Instagram account. “Details on her wake and funeral will be shared at a later date. We appreciate everyone’s caring thoughts during this very difficult time.”
According to CNN, Costa had been recovering from a nasal surgical procedure over the last three weeks and was scheduled to perform at the Primavera Sound festival in São Paulo last weekend. But she had to cancel, and her next concert was scheduled for Dec. 17, the AP reported.
The iconic singer, who was well known for her fusion of different genres, burst onto the Brazilian music scene alongside future legends Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil and Maria Bethânia. Costa was also a prominent member of Brazil’s Tropicália (or Tropicalismo) movement, which blended musical styles in the 1960s, including traditional and avant-garde sounds.
Recording in Portuguese, Spanish and English and performing at numerous festivals, exhibitions and concerts, Costa sang compositions such as Ary Barroso’s “Aquarela do Brasil,” Tom Jobim’s “Dindi,” Jorge Ben Jor’s “Que Pena” and Veloso’s “Baby.”
In Los Angeles, Costa performed at a 2005 tribute to late Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim at the Hollywood Bowl alongside Ivan Lins, Luciana Souza and Eliane Elias, and guitarist Oscar Castro-Neves.
Costa was awarded a Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award by the Latin Recording Academy in 2011. She recorded more than 35 albums in her six-decade career, including her 1981 multi-platinum double album “Fantasia,” which was among her biggest hits.
Brazil’s President-Elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was among those who paid tribute to the beloved star Wednesday.
“Gal Costa was among the world’s best singers, among our principal artists to carry the name and sounds of Brazil to the whole planet,” he tweeted. “Her talent, technique and courage enriched and renewed our culture, cradled and marked the lives of millions of Brazilians.”