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, US
Genres Bolero
Years active1945–2010
Labels Puchito

Olga Guillot (October 9, 1922 – July 12, 2010 [1] ) was a Cuban singer who was known as the "queen of bolero." [2] She was a native of the Cuban city of Santiago de Cuba. [2]



Daughter of Catalan-Jewish [3] immigrants who moved to Cuba, her father was a tailor and her mother was a seamstress. [4] Olga Guillot was born in Santiago de Cuba, and her family moved to Havana, Cuba when she was five years old. [2] As a teenager, she and her sister, Ana Luisa, performed as the "Duo Hermanitas Guillot." [2] 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.

She first achieved international fame in the United States with her version in Spanish of "Stormy Weather" in 1946. [4]

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") by the Mexican composer Chamaco Domínguez, [2] and which became a huge hit across Latin America and earned her three consecutive awards back home in Cuba as Cuba's best female singer. [5]

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 [6] at a concert held in Cannes. [5]

Olga Guillot kept a house in Cuba as she traveled around the world, along with her house in Mexico. But Guillot opposed Fidel Castro's regime, and in 1962 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. [6]

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. [2] [5] During her career, she performed alongside superstars of music such as Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, and her close friend and fellow Cuban exile, the great Celia Cruz. [7]

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, [2] 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 a heart attack [6] 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. [2]


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 September 2, 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.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Fairley, Jan (August 2, 2010). "Olga Guillot obituary". The Guardian. ISSN   0261-3077 . Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  3. "Jews of Cuba" . Retrieved May 2, 2020.
  4. 1 2 "Olga Guillot dies at 87; Cuban singer was 'queen of the bolero'". Los Angeles Times. July 16, 2010. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  5. 1 2 3 "Olga Guillot | Cuban singer". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  6. 1 2 3 Press, The Associated (July 17, 2010). "Olga Guillot, Cuban Bolero Singer, Dies at 87". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  7. "Olga Guillot". The Telegraph. July 16, 2010. Retrieved October 3, 2019.