09 November 2022

Brazilian singer Gal Costa dies aged 77

09 November 2022

Singer Gal Costa, a star in the Tropicalia and Brazilian popular music movements who enjoyed a nearly six-decade career, has died aged 77.

Her death was confirmed by a press representative, who provided no further information.

The soprano with wild curls of dark hair was best known for lending her unique voice to compositions such as Ary Barroso’s Aquarela do Brasil (Watercolour Of Brazil), Tom Jobim’s Dindi, Jorge Ben Jor’s Que Pena (What A Shame) and Caetano Veloso’s Baby.

“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,” President-elect Luiz Inacio da Silva wrote on Twitter alongside a photo of him hugging her.

“Her talent, technique and courage enriched and renewed our culture, cradled and marked the lives of millions of Brazilians.”

Costa was born Maria da Graca Penna Burgos in the north-eastern state of Bahia and came on to the scene alongside future legends Veloso, Gilberto Gil, and Maria Bethania.

All were already successful solo artists when they formed the band Doces Barbaros.

Their joint side project became an important counterculture reference during Brazil’s two-decade military dictatorship, inspiring a record, tour and documentary.

In 2011, Costa was awarded a Latin Grammy lifetime achievement award.

She remained an active performer until nearly the end, having recently suspended shows to undergo surgery on one of her nostrils.

Her next concert had been scheduled for December 17 in Sao Paulo.

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