“The Girl From Ipanema” appeared on an album exactly 50 years ago, and a lot of us have hummed along without knowing exactly where Ipanema is or what the song is about.
Or that the girl herself is a real person, with a real name and a story.
Her name is Helo Pinheiro, and back then she was a 19-year-old brunette named Heloísa Eneida de Menezes Paes Pinto who walked through the seaside district here, running errands, sometimes in a two-piece bathing suit. A songwriter named Antonio Carlos Jobim spotted the beauty who would one day be described as “a golden teenage girl, a mixture of flower and mermaid, full of light and grace.”
— Eric Adelson