Brazilian musician Joao Gilberto dead

Singer and composer Joao Gilberto was considered one of the fathers of the bossa nova genre.
Singer and composer Joao Gilberto was considered one of the fathers of the bossa nova genre.

Brazilian singer and composer Joao Gilberto, who is considered one of the fathers of the bossa nova genre, has died aged 88.

Gilberto died on Saturday in his house in Rio de Janeiro, relatives confirmed through messages in social media.

Son Marcelo Gilberto, said on Facebook of his father: "His fight was noble and he tried to maintain dignity."

His daughter in law wrote of a "deep sadness", saying "all he wanted was to be with us and to play with his granddaughter".

The family did not disclose the cause of death.

Born in the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia, Gilberto began singing at 18.

After moving to Rio de Janeiro he released the record Chega de Saudade in 1959, which marked the beginning of the famous bossa nova music style.

His 1964 album Getz/Gilberto with America saxophone player Stan Getz sold millions of copies, won several Grammy awards and popularised bossa nova around the world.

Australian Associated Press