Destination: Mexico City

R.I.P. Chavela Vargas

The singer who recorded countless classic Mexican rancheras during her long career died in Cuernavaca, Mexico, last night at the age of 93.

Like a number of Americans, I suspect, I fell in love with her deep, husky voice the moment I heard her rendition of “La Llorona” in Julie Taymor’s 2002 Frida Kahlo biopic, “Frida.” That was my gateway ranchera to others she recorded, like this one.

Writer Daniel Hernandez has been tweeting from Plaza Garibaldi in Mexico City tonight, where people gathered to remember Vargas. “A couple thousand people just sang ‘Volver’ at once behind Eugenia Leon like it was one big therapy session,” he wrote. “Overwhelming. Only in Mexico.”

Here’s Vargas singing “La Llorona”:

 


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