Gal Costa, legendary Brazilian singer, has died at age 77. His death was confirmed to the Associated Press.
Early life and career
He was born Roberto Gomes in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Feb. 5, 1947, and raised with a strong sense of justice and a deep belief in God.
He dropped out of São Paulo’s State University, after only one semester, to pursue a career as a singer. He was discovered by Roberto Carlos, who wrote a song that became his first hit.
Culturally, he was part of the 1960s Brazilian punk movement, with his band “Kapoor and the Zulus.” He later formed the band “Amor e Pavor” to perform their songs in Brazil. He also performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival.
He moved back to São Paulo after his music career and began his own fashion company. He was hired by Vogue as a designer and was featured in Vogue Brazil in January 2001.
Early in his career, he used the stage name of Carlos Gomes, but changed it to avoid confusion with the Carlos Gardel, the pop singer he had a child with, who had a short-lived solo career.
He married his second wife, the singer Marina Andrade, in 1988. They later divorced. In 2007 he married Marina Andrade again, and the couple welcomed their first child, a daughter, in 2011.
He was often cited by political leaders as an inspiration.
He was an active supporter of LGBT rights. He was once quoted as saying: “I’m an openly gay guy. … I love being gay, but I have my issues with certain people who would try to do something against gays, they want to suppress my sexuality.”
He often performed at gay pride events, and was arrested for refusing to leave a nightclub after being asked to leave by law enforcement agents. He has two small children from his first marriage.
He also worked with various organizations in the U.S. and elsewhere. He became a member of the Board of Directors of the LGBT-based “OutServe-SLDN,” an outreach network for people affected by AIDS.
He was also an outspoken supporter of LGBT rights, despite