Olga Guillot

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Olga Guillot
Olga guillot.jpg
Background information
Also known asLa Reina del Bolero
Born(1922-10-09)October 9, 1922
Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
DiedJuly 12, 2010(2010-07-12) (aged 87)
Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.
Genres Bolero
Occupation(s) Singer
Years active19452010
Labels Puchito

Olga Guillot (October 9, 1922 July 12, 2010 [1] ) was a Cuban singer who was known as the 'queen of bolero'. She was a native of the Cuban city of Santiago de Cuba.

Cubans or Cuban people, are the inhabitants, citizens of Cuba and people born in Cuba. Cuba is a multi-ethnic nation, home to people of different ethnic and national backgrounds. As a result, some Cubans do not treat their nationality as an ethnicity but as a citizenship with various ethnicities and national origins comprising the "Cuban people." The majority of Cubans descend from Spaniards. Despite its multi-ethnic composition, the culture held in common by most Cubans is referred to as mainstream Cuban culture, a Western culture largely derived from the traditions of Western European migrants, beginning with the early Spanish settlers, along with other Europeans arriving later but in much smaller numbers, such as the English, French and Italians. There is a West African cultural component which has been somewhat influential, with many Afro-Cubans also being of Jamaican or other Afro-Caribbean origin.

Santiago de Cuba City in Cuba

Santiago de Cuba is the second-largest city in Cuba and the capital city of Santiago de Cuba Province. It lies in the southeastern area of the island, some 870 km (540 mi) southeast of the Cuban capital of Havana.



Daughter of Catalan artists who moved to Cuba, Olga Guillot was born in Santiago de Cuba, her family moved to Havana, Cuba when she was a small child. As a teenager, she and her sister, Ana Luisa, performed as the "Duo Hermanitas Guillot". It wasn't until 1945 that her talent as a bolero singer was discovered, when Facundo Rivero, an influential man in the Cuban music scene of the era, heard her sing for the first time and helped her make her professional singing debut at a famous Havana night club. Soon after, Guillot met Miguelito Valdés, who took her to New York City, where Guillot was able to record her first album with the Decca label.

Catalonia Autonomous area of northeastern Spain

Catalonia is an autonomous community in Spain on the northeastern corner of the Iberian Peninsula, designated as a nationality by its Statute of Autonomy. Catalonia consists of four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. The capital and largest city is Barcelona, the second-most populated municipality in Spain and the core of the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union. It comprises most of the territory of the former Principality of Catalonia. It is bordered by France (Occitanie) and Andorra to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the east, and the Spanish autonomous communities of Aragon to the west and Valencia to the south. The official languages are Catalan, Spanish, and the Aranese dialect of Occitan.

Bolero refers to two distinct genres of slow-tempo Latin music and their associated dances. The oldest type of bolero originated in Spain during the late 18th century as a form of ballroom music, which influenced art music composers around the world, most famously Maurice Ravel's Boléro, as well as a flamenco style known as boleras. An unrelated genre of sung music originated in eastern Cuba in the late 19th century as part of the trova tradition. This genre gained widespread popularity around Latin America throughout the 20th century and continues to thrive.

Miguelito Valdés Cuban singer

Miguelito Valdés, also known as Mr. Babalú, was a renowned Cuban singer. His performances were characterized by a strong voice and a particular sense of cubanismo.

Guillot traveled to Mexico in 1948. There, she established herself as an international singer and actress, appearing in various films and making her second album. In Mexico, Guillot began to enjoy much popularity for the first time in her career.

In 1954, she recorded her song "Miénteme" ("Lie to Me") which became a hit across Latin America and earned her three consecutive awards back home in Cuba as Cuba's best female singer.[ citation needed ]

1958 proved to be an important year for Guillot, as she toured Europe for the first time, performing in Italy, France, Spain and Germany. She sang alongside the legendary Édith Piaf at a concert held in Cannes.

Édith Piaf French singer

Édith Piaf was a French vocalist, songwriter, cabaret performer and film actress noted as France's national chanteuse and one of the country's most widely known international stars.

Cannes Commune in Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur, France

Cannes is a city located on the French Riviera. It is a commune located in the Alpes-Maritimes department, and host city of the annual Cannes Film Festival, Midem, and Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The city is known for its association with the rich and famous, its luxury hotels and restaurants, and for several conferences. On 3 November 2011 it also played host to the G20 organisation of industrialised nations.

Olga Guillot kept a house in Cuba as she travelled around the world, along with her house in Mexico. But Guillot opposed Fidel Castro's regime, and in 1961 she decided to leave Cuba for good and establish herself in Venezuela. Not long after that, she left Venezuela, making Mexico her only permanent country of residence .

Fidel Castro Former First Secretary of the Communist Party and President of Cuba

Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz was a Cuban communist revolutionary and politician who governed the Republic of Cuba as Prime Minister from 1959 to 1976 and then as President from 1976 to 2008. A Marxist–Leninist and Cuban nationalist, Castro also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from 1961 until 2011. Under his administration, Cuba became a one-party communist state, while industry and business were nationalized and state socialist reforms were implemented throughout society.

Venezuela Republic in northern South America

Venezuela, officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continental landmass and a large number of small islands and islets in the Caribbean Sea. The capital and largest urban agglomeration is the city of Caracas. It has a territorial extension of 916,445 km2. The continental territory is bordered on the north by the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Colombia, Brazil on the south, Trinidad and Tobago to the north-east and on the east by Guyana. With this last country, the Venezuelan government maintains a claim for Guayana Esequiba over an area of 159,542 km2. For its maritime areas, it exercises sovereignty over 71,295 km2 of territorial waters, 22,224 km2 in its contiguous zone, 471,507 km2 of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean under the concept of exclusive economic zone, and 99,889 km2 of continental shelf. This marine area borders those of 13 states. The country has extremely high biodiversity and is ranked seventh in the world's list of nations with the most number of species. There are habitats ranging from the Andes Mountains in the west to the Amazon basin rain-forest in the south via extensive llanos plains, the Caribbean coast and the Orinoco River Delta in the east.

Meanwhile, she kept touring around the world, singing in places such as Israel, Japan and Hong Kong. In 1963, Guillot was given the Golden Palm award as "best bolero singer of Latin America". She received the award in Hollywood, California. Guillot sang in 1964 at New York's famed Carnegie Hall, becoming the first Latin artist to sing there.

Israel country in the Middle East

Israel, officially the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia, located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It has land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the east and west, respectively, and Egypt to the southwest. The country contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area. Israel's economic and technological center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem has only partial recognition.

Japan Constitutional monarchy in East Asia

Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.

Hong Kong East Asian city

Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China and commonly abbreviated as HK, is a special administrative region of China on the eastern side of the Pearl River estuary in southern China. With over 7.4 million people of various nationalities in a 1,104-square-kilometre (426 sq mi) territory, Hong Kong is the world's fourth-most densely populated region.

Guillot continued touring for the next forty years, releasing over fifty albums and winning numerous awards for her achievements in the music world. She was very good friends with Celia Cruz, whom she often referred to as "(her) sister". When Cruz died from cancer, Guillot was very bereaved over the loss of her close friend and compatriot. She was the godmother of singer José José. Guillot lived mainly in Mexico and had another home on Miami Beach, Florida.


On July 12, 2010, she died of an infarction at the age of 87 in the city of Miami Beach. She is survived by one daughter, Olga Maria Touzet-Guillot, born from her relationship with pianist and composer, René Touzet.


Please note that the dating information was obtained mostly from The Cristóbal Díaz Ayala collection at FIU and from the original recordings when available. The discography is not complete as there are other recordings and reissues outstanding. Updated Sept. 02, 2017.

With Panart Records

With Puchito Records

With Musart Records

With Oasis/Musart Records

With Aro Records

With Trébol/Musart

With Codiscos/Trebol

With Dardo Records

With Disco Records

Montilla Records

With CBS/Caytronics Records

With Music Hall/ Musart Records

With Odeon Records

With Orfeon Records

With Gaviota/Cisne Records

With Astral Records

With AF Records

With Rex/Musart Records

With Ricky Records

With Tropical records

With Interdisc Records

With Zafiro/Musart Records

With DM Records

With Adria/Antilla Records (Reissues)

With UA Latino

With Warner Records


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  1. "Fallece Olga Guillot; del luto el bolero". Diario Milenio (in Spanish). Notimex. July 12, 2010. Archived from the original on September 3, 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2010.