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Today in Latin American History:  Mexico’s Chanteuse Chavela Vargas Was Born

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Feliz Cumpleaños

Today in 1919 one of the musical “monuments” of Latin America Chavela Vargas was born in San Joaquin de Flores, Costa Rica as Isabel Vargas Lizano. The singer is as famous for her artistic talents as for her famous circle of friends.

Vargas’ voice carried the aches of Mexico, her adopted country, as she belted the classic rancheras and boleros. Her look unique: dressing as a man, wearing a poncho and smoking a cigar. Vargas started singing in dive cantinas soon after arriving from Costa Rica as a teenager. The great Jose Alfredo Jimenez discovered her singing for her meals on a street corner in Mexico City.

After nearly 20 years singing on the street she became a professional singer in her thirties and it was not until 1961 that she released her first album, Noche de Bohemia. During her lifetime she recorded more than 80 albums. In 2007 she was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement by the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Science.

Vargas died on August 5, 2012 in Cuernavaca, Mexico uttering the last words “I go with Mexico in my heart.”

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HSN Staff Writers

HSN staff writers are a group of enthusiastic and talented creative-types that generate great story lines and write about current events with a distinctively Latino voice always respecting the audience it writes for.

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