By Cecilia Mansilla
ARGENTINA: The death of the “voice of Latin America,” Mercedes Sosa, was an Argentinean story. As a result, October 2009 was a really sad month for us. It was when we lost one of our biggest artists.
She was best known for her great songs such as “Gracias a la vida” (“Thanks to life”) and “Si calla el cantor” (“If the singer is silenced”).
“I didn’t choose to sing for people”, Sosa said in an interview, “Life chose me to sing”.
Mercedes was born on July 9th, 1935 in the province of San Miguel de Tucuman (north of Argentina) and she is considered one of the most important exports of our music.
During the last dictatorship, her records were forbidden, but even under those awful circumstances she stayed in the country until 1979.
“I remember when they took me prisoner”, she told The Associated Press in late 2007. “I was singing for university kids who were in the last year of veterinary school. I was not political”.
With three suitcases and a handbag she emigrated to Europe, where she stayed until 1982.
She was the recipient of several Grammy Awards and nominations. She served as an ambassador for UNICEF. She worked with performers across several genres and generations, including Andrea Bocelli, Silvio Rodriguez, Pablo Milanes, Caetano Veloso, Joan Manuel Serrat, Gal Costa, Ismael Serrano, Charly Garcia, Luciano Pavarotti, Julieta Venegas, Joaquin Sabina, Calle 13, Sting and Shakira.
Argentina, is really sad for the loss, we are really sad for our loss. But we will always remember her, and appreciate all that she did for those who couldn’t talk at the worst times of our history. When our people was silenced by the dictators, she was singing for us, for our freedom, for our voices.
We will miss you, Negra.
Song in the following video is Todo Cambia:
Learn more about Cecilia:
Cecilia Miguel Mansilla is a 24-year-old student who lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Studying journalism, Cecilia has been a TV news and radio producer for two years. These days, however, she finds herself working for an information technology company and isn’t finding the experience as rewarding as journalism.
I’m trying to get back to my profession, to what I really love — journalism.