R.I.P.: Olga Guillot, "Queen of Bolero," Died in Miami Beach Yesterday
Olga Guillot in her Miami Beach condo in 2009
public domain image, via Wikimedia Commons
Legendary Cuban singer Olga Guillot passed away Monday at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, the Associated Press reports. She was 87 years old.
Guillot was born in Santiago de Cuba, but as a child moved with her family to Havana. It was in Cuba's capital city where, as a teenager, she began performing publicly with her sister, Ana Luisa. It was Olga, whoever, who garnered the most attention for her take on the Cuban form of bolero music, first created in the late 19th century but still popular well into the middle of the 20th century.
By the late '50s, Guillot was touring Europe, even once sharing a stage with Edith Piaf, but Castro's takeover in Cuba drove her from her homeland, first to Venezuela. In exile, however, her acclaim only grew, and in 1964 Guillot became the first Latin artist to perform at Carnegie Hall. All in all, she released more than 30 albums in her 60-plus-year career, the latest as recently as 2001.
The Cuban form of Bolero also became widely popular in Mexico from its early years, and as such, in her later years Guillot split her time between Miami and Mexico. She is survived by her sister.
Below, listen to her classic songs "Miénteme," "Tu Me Acombraste," and "La Gloria Eres Tu."
"Tu Me Acostumbraste"
"La Gloria Eres Tu"
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.