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Laura Canales

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Affectionately known as the "Barbra Streisand of Tejano music" and "La Reina de la Onda Tejano (Queen of the Tejano Wave)," Laura Canales is one of the most successful artists to emerge from the borderlands between Texas and Mexico. The recipient of a dozen Tejano music awards, including Female Entertainer of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year, in 1981, she has remained one of Tejano's greatest vocalists. Her 1977 album, Snowball And Company, reached the tenth position on Billboard's "Hot Latin" charts, while her 1990 album, No Regrets, remained on the charts for 13 weeks. Canales launched her music career, as a guest vocalist for Los Unicos, shortly after graduating from high school in 1973. Continuing to sing as a guest of Los Unicos and El Conjunto Bernal, for the next two years, she had her first break when Los Unicos disbanded. Together with former Los Unicos members, Ramiro "Snowball" de la Cruz, Balde Munoz, and Oscar Soliz, she formed a new group, Snowball & Company. Their first single, a remake of Linda Ronstadt's "Midnight Blue," was followed by a series of Tejano hits. Canales increasingly made her presence felt. Although the group was renamed Felicidad following the departure of de la Cruz in 1978, they became Laura Canales & Encanto three years later. She continued to work with the band until 1985 when she took a break from performing and accepted a job as a disc jockey for KYST in Houston. Although she left the station after six months, she continued to maintain a low profile until signing a five-year contract with Capitol/EMI Latin in 1989. She continued to tour and record, with the accompaniment of Los Fabulosos Cuatro for the next three years. Temporarily leaving music, in 1992, Canales enrolled in Texas A&M University. Receiving her undergraduate degree in clinical psychology in 1997, she continued to pursue a master's degree. During her hiatus, she also studied voice with choral director Milicent Wiley. ~ Craig Harris

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