Gal Costa, one of Brazil’s greatest singers, has died at the age of 77. The information was confirmed by the singer’s advice on Wednesday (9). She had taken a break from concerts after undergoing surgery to remove a lump in her right nasal cavity.
Maria da Graça Costa Penna Burgos was born on September 26, 1945, in Salvador and was the voice of MPB classics such as “Baby”, “Meu nome é Gal”, “Chuva de Prata”, “Meu bem, meu mal”, “Pérola Negra” e “Barato total”.
Her career spanned 57 years, which began in 1965 when the singer performed unpublished songs by Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil. She was still Maria da Graça when she released “Eu vim da Bahia”, Gil’s samba about the origins of the singer and songwriter.
Three years later, another classic came: “Baby”, by Caetano Veloso. The song was written for Maria Bethânia, but Gal released it on record and projected it on Tropicália’s manifesto album. “Divino maravilhoso” (by Gil and Caetano) was another from the Tropicalist phase.
Throughout the 60s and 70s, she kept mixing styles. She dedicated herself to Jorge Ben Jor’s swing with “Que pena (Ela já não gosta mais de mim)” and went for rock with “Cinema Olympia”, another one by Caetano. “My name is Gal”, by Roberto and Erasmo Carlos served as a letter of introduction uniting Jovem Guarda and Tropicália.
When recording “Black Pearl”, in 1971, he helped to reveal the then-young composer Luiz Melodia (1951-2017). In the same year, he released “Vapor Cheap”, showing the strength of the verses of Jards Macalé and Waly Salomão.
She continued recording several songs by Gil and Caetano, but included verses from other composers in her repertoire, such as Cazuza (“Brasil”, 1998); Michael Sullivan and Paulo Massadas (Um dia de domingo”, de 1985); and Marília Mendonça (Cuidando de longe”, 2018).
She was on tour with the show “The various ends of a star”, in which she revisited great hits from the 80’s from the popular MPB songbook. “Açaí”, “Nada mais”, “Sorte” e “Lua de mel” were some of the songs in the repertoire.
Well received by the public and critics, this show made Gal’s schedule hectic after the pandemic. The premiere took place in São Paulo, in October last year.
In addition to touring Brazil, Gal entered the program of several festivals and still had a tour in Europe scheduled for November.
She leaves her 17-year-old son Gabriel.