Chavela Vargas

When you like something, you should do it all night long.

  • Name: Chavela Vargas
  • Born: April 17, 1919
  • Died: August 5, 2012
  • From: San Joaquín de Flores, Costa Rica
  • Pronouns: She/Her
  • Contribution/Impact: A legendary Ranchera singer known throughout the entire Spanish-speaking world.
  • Occupation: Musician
  • Known For: “La Llorona” and “Paloma Negra”.   
  • Awards: Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (2007).
  • Interesting Facts: Despite pressures from those around her, Vargas never changed the pronouns in her songs and sang about loving women long before she officially came out.

On April 17, 1919 Isabel Vargas Lizano was born. In her early teens, she ran away from her home to Mexico City and began singing in the streets. Unlike other female performers during this time, Vargas dressed in men’s clothing and acted in a way that was considered outside of the norm for women at the time. As she became successful, Vargas achieved a sort of mythical status with the large number of rumors surrounding her life (some of which Vargas started) that will result in her being studied for years and years to come. 


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