Tuesday November 4, 2008
Yma Sumac, the Peruvian singer who inspired countless drag performers with her exotic style and soaring vocal skills (ideal for lipsynching), has died at age 86.
Sumac burst on to the American music scene is 1950 with her album, Voice of the Xtabay, which soared to number one on the charts.
From The New York Times:
"Her image was pleasantly jolting in what many saw as the staid 1950s. She wore long, heavy braids in her raven hair; traditional Indian costumes; lots of gold and silver jewelry; and exotic makeup. She spoke of jungle animals as musical influences."
"[Over the years], the Incan Princess became a venerable queen of camp, popping up decade after decade with her unsettling mix of strange sounds, folk roots and a vivacious stage personality. Fans ranged from aficionados of lounge music to rockers attracted by ethereal sounds to lovers of classic pop."
For a taste of the diva and her unbelievable voice, check out her YouTube page.
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