Brazilian Music Icon Gal Costa Dies Aged 77

Gal Costa, one of the giants of Brazilian popular music, has died at the age of 77.

The singer rose to fame in the 1960s when she spearheaded the Tropicália movement alongside fellow stars Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso.

Her press team did not disclose the cause of her death.

Costa had recently had to cancel some concerts on doctor’s orders after an operation, but had planned to return to the stage next month in São Paulo.

Those paying tribute to Costa on social media included President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who called her one of the world’s greatest singers. 

He said she was one of the main artists to put Brazil, and Brazilian music, on the world map.

“Her talent, technique and audacity enriched and renewed our culture, rocked and marked the lives of millions of Brazilians,” he added.

Gal Costa foi das maiores cantoras do mundo, das nossas principais artistas a levar o nome e os sons do Brasil para todo o planeta. Seu talento, técnica e ousadia enriqueceu e renovou nossa cultura, embalou e marcou a vida de milhões de brasileiros.

📸 @ricardostuckertpic.twitter.com/4jU2SBcHuq— Lula (@LulaOficial) November 9, 2022

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Born in the north-eastern state of Bahia, a centre of Afro-Brazilian culture, Costa recorded more than 30 albums in her lengthy career.

Her best-known hits included Baby, Que Pena, Chuva de Prata and Divino Maravilhoso.

The singer-songwriter lent her distinctive voice to a wide range of songs by authors including Tom Jobim, Chico Buarque and Milton Nascimento.

And during the years of Brazil’s dictatorship, her trademark hippie style and often revealing clothing made her a symbol of defiance of the military authorities.

Gilberto Gil, who worked closely with Costa throughout both of their careers, said he was “very sad and shaken by the death of my Gaúcha sister Gal Costa”.

Costa was a vocal supporter of Lula throughout his recent presidential campaign. 

When news broke of his win in Brazil’s presidential elections just two weeks ago, she posted a picture on Instagram with the caption: “Love won against hate! President Lula!”


Frebetha Atieku Adjoh

News Editor, Lover of Arts & Entertainment

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