CAUSE OF DEATH: Top Brazilian journalists confirm singer, Gal Costa, is dead KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt

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Wednesday, November 9, 2022

CAUSE OF DEATH: Top Brazilian journalists confirm singer, Gal Costa, is dead

Gal Costa, the influential Brazilian singer who was one of the principal figures in the Tropicália movement of the 1960s, died on Wednesday, her public relations agency confirmed. She was 77.

No cause of death was immediately provided. The singer, who lived in São Paulo, had recently canceled a concert at a local music festival on advice from her doctor, after surgery in September to remove a nodule from her right nasal cavity. She had been expected to return to the stage in São Paulo in December, according to tour dates listed on her website.

Costa was a muse of Brazil’s booming popular music scene in the late 1960s, and sang with some of the biggest names in Brazilian music, including Tom Jobim, Chico Buarque, Milton Nascimento and her close friend Caetano Veloso.

Born on 26 September 1945 in the city of Salvador, the capital of the state of Bahia, Costa began her professional singing career in 1964. She released her first album, Domingo, in 1967, before joining the Tropicália artistic movement, which melded Brazilian artistic styles with foreign influences. Her eponymous solo debut in 1969 is now considered a Tropicalismo classic.

“I was born wanting to sing, wanting to be a singer,” she said in a 2020 interview. “I always thought I would be one – I had this intuition and I wanted it. [I knew it from] when I was born.”

Her last album was 2021’s Nenhuma Dor. Her death brought forth an outpouring of mourning in Brazil. “I’m very sad and shaken by the death of my ‘sister’ @GalCosta,” tweeted singer-songwriter and former culture minister Gilberto Gil.

Brazil’s recently elected president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, posted a picture of him and Costa embracing on Instagram. Costa was “one of the best singers in the world, one of our foremost artists who brought the name and sounds of Brazil to the entire planet”, he wrote along with the photo. “The country ... lost one of its great voices today.”

Costa is survived by her 16-year-old son. Maria das Graças Penna Burgos was born in the northeastern city of Salvador in 1945 and began her musical career in 1960 after meeting fellow singer Caetano Veloso. Along with Bethânia, Gilberto Gil and Tom Zé, they led a wave of singers from Bahia state who became central players in the Tropicalia movement.

Fusing local folk and Afro-Brazilian traditions with psychedelic rock influences from abroad, Tropicalia was a politically charged movement that emerged in defiance to Brazil's military dictatorship at the time.

Gil also lamented the passing of Costa on social media.

"I'm very saddened and impacted by the death of my Gaúcha sister," he tweeted. 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” (Watercolor 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 Inácio 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.”

"The country, which Gal Costa used to sing to show her face, today loses one of its great voices. But the legacy, the work, the memory and the songs will be eternal like your name Gal," he added in another tweet. "My condolences and sympathies to family, friends and millions of admirers."

Costa was born Maria da Graça Penna Burgos in the northeastern state of Bahia and came onto the scene alongside future legends Veloso, Gilberto Gil, and Maria Bethânia.

All were already successful solo artists when they formed the band Doces Bárbaros. 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 a surgery on one of her nostrils. Her next concert had been scheduled for Dec. 17, in Sao Paulo. (Read More Here)).

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