I can’t think of one Latin female singer that took in so much and put so much out with her heart, singing, and energy than the Cuban born Guadalupe Victoria Yolí Raymond, aka La Lupe.
From exile, to fame, to drug addition, heartbreak, a waning career with Fania, to Santeria, and to an eventual life as a born-again Christian. This complex and often controversial history that La Lupe had will always be reflected in the tone of her singing voice. PBS did a documentary bio-pick of her few years back which I recommend watching. Also, peep my other post Day 1: Yeh-Yeh, La Lupe does backing vocals for Mongo Santamaria, who actually discovered her in 1962 after being exiled to the United States from Cuba.
The song Puedes Decir Di Mi (you can say whatever you want about me) should have been in a James Bond movie. In fact, whenever I play this at clubs I always have at least one person asking me who the singer is. It’s her powerful, infectious voice that really can capture one. You don’t even need to know Spanish to understand where this lady has been and what she is trying to say. Tossed in the B side, which is just as powerful. Enjoy!