"Chavela Vargas, who defied gender stereotypes to become one of the most legendary singers in Mexico, died Sunday at age 93. Her friend and biographer Maria Cortina said Vargas died at a hospital in the city of Cuernavaca, where she had been admitted for heart and respiratory problems. Vargas rose to fame flouting the Catholic country’s preconceptions of what it meant to be a female singer: singing lusty “ranchera” songs while wearing men’s clothes, carrying a pistol, drinking heavily and smoking cigars. Though she refused to change the pronouns in love songs about women as some audiences expected, many of her versions of passionate Mexican folk songs are considered definitive. Born in San Joaquin de Flores, Costa Rica, on April 17, 1919, Vargas immigrated to Mexico at the age of 14. She sang in the streets as a teenager, then ventured into a professional singing career well in her 30s. “I was never afraid of anything because I never hurt anyone,” Vargas told the audience at a Mexico City tribute concert in June 2011. “I was always an old drunk."
this makes me so unbelievably horribly sad.