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Mexican singer Chavela Vargas dies at 93

  • Popular Mexican singer Chavela Vargas has died of respiratory failure at the age of 93.

    Her friend and biographer Maria Cortina said Vargas passed away at a hospital in the city of Cuernavaca, south of Mexico City.

    Though Vargas was born in Costa Rica, she was closely tied to the Mexican cultural scene of the 20th century.

    She was a friend of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, with whom she said she had been in love.

    Vargas was open about her homosexuality and performed Mexican ranchera songs dressed in men's clothes.

    Rancheras are traditional songs about love and loss and mainly performed by men.

    Vargas recorded 80 albums and continued to perform late into her life. She made her debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall when she was 83.