Mercedes Sosa, the "Voice of Latin America" Dies

Mercedes Sosa Teatro Nacional Rubén Darío. Febrereo 2008. via Flickr’s jorgemejiaArtTracker| Known affectionately as La Negra, Mercedes Sosa, the Argentine folk singer known as the “voice of Latin America” as died of kidney failure at age 74.

Sosa’s version of Violeta Parra’s “Gracias a la Vida” - “Thanks to Life” - became an anthem for leftists around the world in the 1970s and 1980s.

With a rich contralto voice, Ms. Sosa was foremost a compelling singer whose career spanned five decades. She performed with entertainers as varied as rock star Sting, the Cuban singer-songwriter Pablo Milanés and folk singer Joan Baez, who said she was so moved by Ms. Sosa’s “tremendous charisma” and emotive firepower that she once dropped to her knees and kissed Ms. Sosa’s feet. via Washington Post

Mercedes Sosa - Gracias a La Vida

Before I could hit Google, Al Jazeera beat me to the punch, answering my question of whether or not Mercedes Sosa and our Smarty Pants Shakira have performed together.

Sosa’s latest album, “Cantora 1 & 2”, a (“simply gorgeous sound” says Anne) collaboration with artists including Shakira, Caetano Veloso, Jorge Drexler, has been nominated for three prizes in next month’s Latin Grammy awards in Las Vegas.

This video features Mercedes Sosa and Shakira singing at an ALAS concert, Sept. 2008. Anne

Concierto ALAS: Shakira & Mercedes Sosa — La Masa