Isabel Vargas Lizano
(born April 17, 1919) is a Costa Rican-born Mexican singer. She is especially known for her rendition of Mexican rancheras
genre - a folkloric musical genre widely popular in Mexico - but she is also recognized for her contribution to other popular Latin American song genres. She has been an influential interpreter in the Americas and Europe, muse to figures such as Pedro Almodóvar
, hailed for her haunting performances, and called "la voz áspera de la ternura", the rough voice of tenderness.
Isabel Vargas Lizano was born in San Joaquín de Flores
, Costa Rica
. She goes by Chavela
, which is a nickname for Isabel. At only 14, she fled her native country due to lack of musical career opportunities, seeking refuge in Mexico, where an entertainment industry was burgeoning. For many years she sang on the streets but in her thirties she became a professional singer. In her youth, she dressed as a man, smoked cigars, drank heavily, carried a gun and was known for her characteristic... Read More