Astrud Evangelina Weinert was born on March 29, 1940, in Bahia, Brazil, to a German father, Fritz Weinert, a language professor, and a Brazilian mother, Evangelina Weinert, who was also an educator.
When Astrud was a girl, her family moved to Rio. There, during her teenage years, she befriended a group of young musicians who later became celebrated in Brazil, among them the singer Nara Leão and the songwriter Roberto Menescal. She met Mr. Gilberto when she was 19, and they married several months later.
She began singing in private with her musical circle of friends, which grew to include more established names like Luiz Bonfá and Vinicius de Moraes. It was Mr. Moraes who wrote the original lyrics for “The Girl From Ipanema,” named after a beachside neighborhood in Rio where he and Mr. Jobim used to watch a beautiful woman they pined for walk by.
After the song became a smash hit, Mr. Getz and Mr. Taylor, the producer, described Ms. Gilberto in the press as a housewife they had discovered — a characterization that angered her, given the years she had spent privately singing with her friends and her husband. “I can’t help but to feel annoyed at the fact that they resorted to lying,” she said in the interview on her website.
She was also experiencing tension in her marriage and soon began a brief, fraught affair with Mr. Getz. (She and her husband divorced shortly after.) She toured the United States with Mr. Getz, billed as a guest singer; the resulting live album, “Getz Au Go Go” (1964), featured her on five tracks.
The success of that album led to a solo contract with Verve Records, Mr. Getz’s label. “The Astrud Gilberto Album,” released in 1965, just missed Billboard’s pop Top 40. For her third album, “Look to the Rainbow” (1966), she expanded her sound by working with the arranger Gil Evans, best known for his work with Miles Davis.