By Sweet Sound of Sunrise

One of the most famous bossa nova songs – and quite possibly the most widely recognized Brazilian song in the world, “Garota de Ipanema” (“The Girl from Ipanema”) was originally conceived by lyricist Vinicius de Moraes for a musical comedy. The song was first written in 1962, with music composed by bossa nova pioneer Antonio Carlos Jobim. They were supposed to have been inspired by model Heloisa Pinheiro, who was 15 years old at the time, and whose status as the “Real Girl from Ipanema” eventually made her a celebrity. However, it was the English translation of the song by Oscar-winning songwriter Norman Gimbel that took the song and made it an international hit.


Brazilian singer Astrud Gilberto teamed up with her ex-husband’s musical partner Stan Getz to record the translated version, which ended up topping the charts, getting certified gold, and even winning the pair a Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1965. Since then, it has been entrenched in pop culture, and can be found in countless movies and commercials. It has also been covered (sometimes as “The Boy from Ipanema”) by many artists, including such legends as Rosemary Clooney and Ella Fitzgerald.

Not bad for a simple enough song about a pretty girl.