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Popular artist Juana Bacallao dies in Cuba at age 98

Havana, Feb 24 (Prensa Latina) The popular Cuban artist Juana Bacallao died today in this capital at the age of 98, after days of hospitalization in serious condition, reported the Cuban Institute of Music.

Since it became known about her medical situation, there have been countless displays of affection and concern from her people, transmitted through social networks and other media towards the singer and comedian Neris Amelia Martínez Salazar, better known as Juana Bacallao.

Born in a humble family and orphaned from a very early age, the singer’s comedic vision took her through very different twists and turns of the show, from cabaret to television, passing through theater.

Although she never pursued formal music studies, she learned to play the piano and the tumbadora, she served as a kind of domestic employee, whose talent caught the attention of the composer, musician and conductor Obdulio Morales.

The Cuban maestro promoted her debut at the Martí Theater in Havana, with the interpretation of the guaracha “Yo soy Juana Bacallao”, which remained as her stage name, which later transcended the borders of the Caribbean island with the nickname “Juana, the Cuban.”

Artist “Show Woman”, named after Maestro Morales, Juana became the black Goddess of Cuban cabarets.

In her way of interpreting, she combined song lyrics with burlesque or tragic texts, grandiloquent gestures and extravagant costumes.

Unique in her style, considered a legend of Cuban culture, she marked a milestone in the history of cabarets, since the 50’s of the last century.

Juana Bacallao is also the image of the popular picaresque tradition of the Antillean nation, based on the ease with which she assumed a dance repertoire among audiences from all over the world.

Awarded the National Humor Award (2020), she was much loved in Mexico, Venezuela, the United States and Canada; In the latter country she was awarded a Gold Record.

She was also recognized in the Dominican Republic, where she performed for several years; There were many stations in Europe that advertised some of her songs and for an extended period they hummed her nickname, especially among Italians.

The show woman of Cuba, a title more than deserved after decades in front of spectators, she was applauded again and again for decades thanks to her way of acting, the lyrics of the songs she performed and her extravagant wardrobe.

Many musicians took the infectious melody “Juana, la cubana” as their own, including the late Tex-Mex, ranchera, Latin pop and cumbia singer, Selena.

She received multiple recognitions, such as the Distinction for National Culture, the “Alejo Carpentier” medal and the aforementioned Gold Record, awarded in Canada.

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