These days, because of his recent death, we must talk about Chavela Vargas. The artist, however, spent much time of his life in complete anonymity, forgotten and postponed the celebrity limelight by her tumultuous private life and alcohol dependence. Nombrársele I remember when I started again, back in the 90s, in Spain. She traveled to Madrid from his hometown of Aguatepec, near Mexico City, to participate in several programs of Spanish television magazine program, which they made a hole so that, with its inevitable multicolored poncho and repeinadas gray, contase what had become of her life for twenty years and encarrilarla healthy intentions. She was a woman who looked finished elderly, struggling to get out of their addiction. It emerged from the ashes, even to act again, with great success, and the star shine again that had raised in its early stages.
Recognized as the grande dame of Latin song that was launched Chavela valiantly to another claim: that of lesbian pro.
The beginnings in difficult times
Born in Costa Rica in 1919, Maria Isabel Vargas Lizano Anita, Chavela Vargas, spent a troubled childhood. After the divorce of his parents, he was left in the care of an aunt and uncle and suffered poliomyelitis. At 14, running away from home and being sought and herself, she traveled to Mexico and tried all sorts of professions and jobs to survive: selling children’s clothes, making seamstress, cook, or driving a car. Discovered by composer Pepe Guízar, he started in the world of music at thirty, surprising everyone with his raspy voice and masculine air. By her own count, she said that “sang awful” but she was not discouraged because he was sure to have found what he knew and wanted to do in life.
Around him, soon they began the rumorologías and open secrets. They do not went unnoticed his controversial statements, nor his shocking for the time customs. Although in the beginning appeared with heels and necklines as imposing fashion to artists, he was soon marking his own style, both in appearance and in the way they interpret the songs that were big hits in the voice of Pedro Infante, Jorge Negrete or Pepe himself Guízar. She was a woman dressed in men’s clothing, smoked and drank like men, sang traditional male songs, and went to “carousing” with men, with revolver and on horseback, in a Mexico of the 50s where “males” were the dominant species. Despite not talk openly about her lesbianism, Chavela never denied. Not surprisingly, he dared to say that “she did not like men”, already an acclaimed artist.
Chavela, Frida and Grace Kelly
His friendship with Diego Rivera and his famous wife, Frida Kahlo, led to something else with it, as he dared to declare years later Chavela itself, being reviled by a sector of relatives and followers of the legendary painter, who did not want fame for this lesbian. Chavela always said, Frida, was the great love of his life, and spoke of the passionate letters she received from Frida.
After a stint in Hollywood, Chavela Vargas reconoció- also supposed to platónicamente- love with Grace Kelly, before he became the consort of the Prince of Monaco. I said she was also in love with Princess Soraya, during a dinner at the Palace of the Shah. Among the women who attracted, famous or not, Chavela declared not feel bad reciprocated.
The brilliant resurgence of the well
Sunk by personal and mood problems, Chavela succumbed to alcoholism in the 70s and his career seemed to have gone down with her. However, after those twenty years of drunken hell, his resurgence could not be brighter, in his beloved Mexico, and his voice – more so than ripped his first time- refilled national and international theaters.
Chavela, recovered, for free and recognized order and acclaimed in a world that no longer attacked as “butch” and applauded his art, was revealed as the grand dame of the station wagon that had always been, he deserved to be and that Mexico valued .
Chavela Vargas died in Mexico, as he had lived in Mexico. She always said she “wanted to be Mexican,” and it was Mexican and was recognized everywhere.