- Associated Press - Friday, July 8, 2011

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - Veteran Bossa Nova composer Billy Blanco has died in Brazil at age 87.

Hospital officials in Rio de Janeiro say he died Friday from complications of a stroke he suffered in October.

Blanco was at the heart of the Bossa Nova movement when it bloomed in the early 1960s.

He authored more than 300 songs and collaborated with the genre’s biggest names, such as Tom Jobim, Joao Gilberto and Baden Powell.

Blanco was known as the “Diamond of Bossa Nova.” He was born in 1924 in the Amazon jungle city of Belem, but migrated south to Sao Paulo as a young man to study architecture. He moved on to Rio and quickly launched his composing career.

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