Singer María Dolores Pradera dies aged 93
María Dolores Pradera, a Spanish singer, was referred to by her country's monarchs as "a bridge between cultures."
María Dolores Pradera, a film and theater actress who established a career in Spain before becoming one of the most recognized female vocalists in the Spanish language on either side of the Atlantic, has died aged 93, her daughter said Tuesday.
Known for a smooth, contralto voice, Pradera found a niche blending her typically Spanish intonation and accent with Latin American music, including ballads, boleros and waltzes, particularly of Argentinian, Mexican and Venezuelan origin, although she became particularly associated with Peru's renowned songwriter Chabuca Granda and with Mexico's ranchera music.
"She was doing well, but suddenly she started going downhill fast and became very ill, but we have been lucky in that she had lived a lot," said her daughter, Elena Fernán-Gómez at the funeral home where mourners gathered.
Numerous personalities of the world of culture and politics, including King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, had stopped by to give their condolences.
The Spanish monarchs said Pradera had been "a lover of Ibero-American music who had acted as a bridge between cultures," while Rajoy described her as "a major figure in Spanish popular song."
She was born in Madrid on Aug. 29, 1924, as María Dolores Fernández Pradera and over almost 70 years received numerous awards.
She recorded the second volume of "Gracias a ustedes" ("Thank You") five years ago, one of her last artistic achievements.
"I want you to remember her as a wonderful mother, person and artist," her daughter said. "I could not even cry this morning due to the number of messages I've received for her from all over the world," she added.