According to the Washington Post, legendary guitarist João Gilberto, commonly known as the “father of bossa nova” passed away on July 6th. He passed away at his home in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He is survived by his son, Marcelo Gilberto, and his daughter, Bebel Gilberto.
João Gilberto was born in Bahia, Brazil, and started singing at the age of 18 but didn’t release anything official until his 20s. He didn’t find substantial commercial success until his deal with German label Odeon Records in the late 50s. Gilberto eventually became pivotal in the popularization of the bossa nova sub-genre of Brazilian music, especially its guitar style. In 1959, he released his record, Chega De Saudade, to much critical praise.
Chega De Saudade became known as his signature record, and the praise continued for years to come with the album eventually being inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and included at #4 on Rolling Stone’s list of the best Brazilian albums in history. The album has been called the “first” bossa nova album, as it helped to kick off the movement and open doors for the style’s many other significant artists and albums.