Cuban singer Olga Guillot, considered the queen of the bolero, died Monday of a heart attack in a Miami hospital, El Nuevo Herald newspaper said on its Web site. She was 87. The exiled artist was admitted to Mount Sinai Medical Center on Monday morning after suffering a heart attack, but died soon afterwards.
Guillot popularized songs like “Tú Me Acostumbraste” (You Got Me Used to It), “La Gloria Eres Tú” (You Are the Glory), “La Noche de Anoche” (Last Night), and the one considered her theme song:”Miénteme” (Lie to Me).
Born in Santiago de Cuba, the singer began her career at 14 in a duo act with her sister. In the 1950s she was an ever-present figure on Cuban radio and television, according to the Spanish-language sister publication of The Miami Herald. She also performed in Mexican movies in their golden age with such artists as German “Tin Tán” Valdés, Pedro Armendariz, Arturo de Córdova and Rosita Fornés. Guillot, a critic of Fidel Castro’s government, stayed in Venezuela in 1960 at the home of another popular Cuban singer, Renée Barrios. “Later she moved to Mexico where she was already very popular, and has resided there to the present day,” El Nuevo Herald said, noting that Guillot also owned a residence in Miami’s Bal Harbour.
“Olga was the pioneer, the example for other Cuban singers,” Vicky Roig, the outstanding bolero singer who was Guillot’s friend for 50 years, told the newspaper. “She was the standard-bearer of the Cuban cause. All she wanted was to go back to Cuba and sing at the Tropicana.”
Guillot was married to Cuban actor Alberto Insua and had one daughter, Olga Marie – also a singer – by the renowned Cuban composer René Touzet.
“I spoke with her five days ago and she was well,” Roig said, adding that Guillot was preparing a show in Mexico with an orchestra.