With her expressive vocals, Lola Beltrán brought ranchera or mariachi music from the barrios of Mexico to the international stage. During the four decades that she was active, Beltrán recorded more than 70 tunes with many achieving gold record status. Her hits included such classic tunes as "Huapango Torero," "La Cigarra," and "Paloma Negra." In 1982, Beltrán received la Medella del Artistica del Extranjero for her efforts as Mexico's cultural ambassador.
Beltrán was a secretary at a Mexican radio station when she was encouraged by famed singer Matilde Sanchez and Miguel Aceves Mejia. With their support, Beltrán made her professional debut as a singer in 1954. Her performances became the springboard for her career as she was overheard and signed to a recording contract by Peerless Records. In addition to her career as a vocalist, Beltrán was successful as a co-producer and actress in several films, including Cucurucucu Paloma, based on a popular song by Tomas Mendez. Beltrán celebrated her 40th anniversary in music with a concert at the Palacio del las Bellas Artes in 1994. She died following a stroke two years later. ~ Craig Harris