A star shines with passion in Cuban music. That’s Olga Guillot, the Queen of Bolero.
With a track record unparalleled, this singer has popularized the most beautiful songs and also made numerous films. Her voice, unique in the world, has sweetened the songs of celebrities such as Edith Piaf, Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole.
The beginnings of the Queen of Bolero
Daughter of Catalan artists, Olga Guillot was born on October 9th, 1922 in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba. As a child she moved to Havana, where it forms the duo Sisters Guillot with her sister Ana Luisa.
At the age of 15 she began her musical studies with teachers such as singer Mariano Meléndez and the soprano Hortensia Cohalla.
Her musical career started in the ’40s, when she joined the Siboney quartet. In this period, the pianist Facundo Rivero discovered her musical talent and becomes her musical advisor. Olga’s debut took place in 1945 at the Zombie Club.
Thereafter, she is invited to record in several countries on the continent. Thanks to Miguelito Valdez, amazed by the rising star, she records for Decca in New York City. Along with tenor René Cabell, she travels to Mexico to film her first movie: La Venus de Fuego. In this production is also involved Meche Barba, one of the queens of the so-called rumberas film.
A voice that moves the world
Throughout the ’50s, Olga Guillot gave her voice throughout Latin America. She works with musicians like Edith Piaf, Nat King Cole and Sarah Vaughan. Among her most important recordings are Miénteme, of the Mexican composer Chamaco Domínguez, and the bolero Tú me acostumbraste, from the singer and Cuban pianist Frank Domínguez. The Puchito and Musart labels see her act in their recording studios. To close the decade, she acts on the Palm Beach Casino, in the French city of Cannes.
Olga Guillot becomes a bestseller in the early ’60s. She got a diamond disc and the Palmas de Oro Awards for Best Latin American bolero singer, awarded by the Academy of Arts John F. Kennedy in Hollywood.
On October 31st, 1964, she performs her first concert, otherwise an unforgettable presentation, at Carnegie Hall in New York. Guillot was the first Hispanic artist acting at the prestigious theater. At the opening of the Hilton Hotel Manila, in the Philippines, she sang with Frank Sinatra.
You are the glory
Olga Guillot got world-famous thanks to the love theme Adoro, from the Mexican Armando Manzanero, and is considered the pioneer of erotic song with Me muero, me muero, from the also Mexican Lolita de la Colina. Other tracks such as La gloria eres tú, Sin mí, Alma adentro y No digas por favor, tolls in her passionate voice in prestigious stages in Latin America, Europe and Asia.
Considered the Queen of Bolero, Guillot has become popular songs from renowned artists like Lola Beltran, Agustin Lara, Jose Antonio Mendez and Jose Alfredo Jimenez, among others. She has to his credit half-hundred albums, 16 films, 20 gold albums, 10 platinum, one Diamond and a Latin Grammy.
Olga died on July 12th, 2010 at Mount Sinai Hospital in Miami, United States, because of a heart failure, at the aged of 88.
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