Chavela Vargas (Born Isabel Lizano)
April 17, 1919 – August 5, 2012
Chavela Vargas was a Costa Rico-born singer who grew up to be one of the most respected singer of Mexican Rancheras the world has ever known. When she was just 14, Vargas moved to Mexico to pursue her dream of singing, but it wasn’t until 1961 that she recorded her first album, Noche de Bohemia. She spent the next 50 years making up for lost time with the release of more than 80 albums. She was immensely popular during the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, keeping company with the likes of Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, and Augustin Lara. Vargas more or less retired during the late ’70s, but came back to the stage strong in 1991. In 2003 – at the age of 83 – Vargas made her Carnegie Hall debut. Chavela Vargas was 93 when she passed away on August 5, 2012.