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Jiménez, Carmita

Songstress Carmita Jiménez was born 3 August (1944?) in San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico and started her career at the age six, singing on a radio program, “El abuelito Welch”, hosted by the popular radio and TV personality, José Miguel Agrelot.

At 15 years of age, Jiménez sang “Habanera” from George Bizet’s opera, “Carmen” but her interests were wider than classical music. Three years later she joined the ranks of popular music artists, singing with the Moncho Usera orchestra and recorded her first album. The album was released on the Ansonia label and contained her first hit song: “Tierra rica”.

For several years thereafter (1962-1964), Jiménez made many appearances on Puerto Rican television. While she was well regarded, she moved to Peru to pursue her career in South America, where she remained for five years.

Jiménez became a popular figure in Peru and her songs widely broadcast by that country’s popular music radio stations. During the height of the Nueva Ola movement in Puerto Rico, she had several hit songs, including “Yo lo seguiré” and “La tersa luna”, both of which reached the top of the charts. During this time, she also recorded “Papeles”; a song that has since become the work most associate with her successful career.

Jiménez returned to Puerto Rico in 1968, marking a new stage in her career. She had her own spot on the very popular TV variety show “El Show del Mediodía” and later hosted her own weekly TV variety program. Jiménez also continued her recording career as a popular singer signing with Borinquen Records and hit songs such as “Mira mi amor”, “Si yo fuera esa” and “Ahí van”.

She released her highly acclaimed album Llueve, preludio para el amor in 1977 on the Flamboyán label. The recording included her hit song “De engaños”.

Jiménez got caught up the next year in the disco movement and contributed her song, “La generación de hoy” which was featured in the popular concert event “La discoteca más grande del mundo”, held in San Juan. She also had hit songs broadcast widely on the airwaves, including “Sin sentido” and “La vida en rosa”, which was later sung in English by Grace Jones.

Jiménez went on to perform in many concert events throughout Puerto Rico, later joining a group of artists in the concert “Algo más que una cantante” at the Paoli Hall of the Centro de Bellas Artes in San Juan. The event was lauded as the best of the year in 1984.

Jimenez followed up with a new double album on the TeleRecords label, as well as concert and television shows and appearances. In 1991 she joined several artists to produce the compilation album “Asi Canta Puerto Rico” which included her performance of Que Sabes Tu. In 1992, she was one of many artists involved in the 500th Anniversary of Columbus’ landing in Puerto Rico, resulting in the album “Homenaje a Puerto Rico”, and received wide critical acclaim for her effort.

That acclaim followed many awards earned throughout her productive career. These include the INTRE prize for Major Television Special, awarded for a program dedicated to the Puerto Rican danza; the Agüeybaná Award, Souvi, ACE, Golden Camera (Peru) and several Paoli Awards.

Toward the end of the millenium, Jimenez was active in supporting cultural programs in the public schools throughout Puerto Rico.

Known as the “Dama de la Canción” (Dame of Song), the talented artist had been diagnosed as having cancer in 1985 and finally succumbed on 10 August 2003 in her home in Caguas, Puerto Rico.

Discography

Voces de Puerto Rico (1994)

Si Te Vas a Ir (1988)

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