Chavela Vargas, pseudonym of Isabel Vargas Lizano (San Joaquín de Flores, April 17, 1919 - Cuernavaca, August 5, 2012), was a Costa Rican singer naturalized as Mexican.
She moved to Mexico at age 14, where she began singing in the streets. She became a professional in the late 50s, the first recordings of her are from 1961. She became popular in the 60s and 70s, both at home and in Europe, especially in Spain. She met well-known personalities of the time such as Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Luis Echeverría, president of Mexico from 1970 to 1976.
In the nineties Pedro Almodóvar paid tribute to Chavela, choosing her songs for the soundtracks of some films, thus introducing her to the general public. She also participated in the film, dedicated to her friend Frida Kahlo, Julie Taymor's Frida, in which she plays La llorona (but Paloma negra is also present on the soundtrack). The leading actress and producer, Salma Hayek, who wanted her in the film, said: “Chavela is not a Mexican singer, Chavela is Mexico.”