Carmen Amaya (2 November 1918 – 19 November 1963) was a flamenco dancer and singer, of Romani origin, born in the Somorrostro slum of Barcelona, Spain, Vila Olímpica nowadays. She first danced in a cave near Granada, Spain.
She danced from the time she was five years old. Accompanied on the guitar by her father, she danced in waterfront bars in Barcelona. A young person who saw her dance as a girl was Sabicas (Agustín Castellón Campos), who later said "I saw her dance and it seemed like something supernatural to me... I never saw anyone dance like her. I don’t know how she did it, I just don’t know!". Sabicas became a great flamenco guitarist and accompanied her for many years. He recorded Queen of the Gypsies (1959) and Flamenco! with Amaya.
In 1929, she made her debut in Paris with noted Spanish dancer Raquel Miller, to warm acclaim and admiration of her dancing skill. She then performed at the Folies Bergère. She declined an offer from Buenos Aires until she was called to appear in Madrid. After this acclaimed performance, she accepted the Buenos Aires offer, in spite of protestations from Uncle Sebastian, one of the sixteen members of her entourage. Argentine audiences were so impressed that they named a theatre after her. She then toured South America, and in Mexico City she was signed by S. Hurok, who brought her to New York. She moved to America in 1936, where she went on to act in several films that broke box office records, including the Romeo and Juliet adaptation Los Tarantos, and the short film Danzas Gitanas (Gypsy dances).
Amaya is buried in the Cemetery of Ciriego (Santander).
- Montse Madridejos, David Pérez Merinero (2013). Carmen Amaya. Barcelona: Edicions Bellaterra. ISBN 978-84-7290-636-5.
- Herbert Kadison. "Flamenco Firebrand." Greenwich Village Chatter II:11 (October, 1946), 5-7.
- Clarke, Mary & Crisp, Clement 1981. The history of dance. Orbis, London. p60
- Clarke, Mary & Vaughan, David 1977. The encyclopedia of dance & ballet. Pitman, London. p316
- Sevilla, Paco 1999. Queen of the gypsies: the life and legend of Carmen Amaya. Sevilla Press. Excerpt by Flamenco-world.com: 
- (Kadison, 6)
- Bois, Mario (1994). Carmen Amaya o la danza del fuego. Madrid: Espasa Calpe.
- Hidalgo Gómez, Francisco (2010). Carmen Amaya. La biografía. Barcelona: Ediciones Carena.
- Madridejos Mora, Montserrat (2012). El flamenco en la Barcelona de la Exposición Internacional (1929-1930). Barcelona: Edicions Bellaterra.
- Madridejos Mora, Montserrat y David Pérez Merinero (2013), Carmen Amaya. Barcelona: Edicions Bellaterra.
- Montañés, Salvador (1963). Carmen Amaya. La bailaora genial. Barcelona: Ediciones G.P.
- Pujol Baulenas, Jordi y Carlos García de Olalla (2003). Carmen Amaya. El mar me enseñó a bailar. Barcelona: Almendra Music.
- Sevilla, Paco (1999). Queen of the gypsies. The Life and legend of Carmen Amaya. San Diego, EE.UU: Sevilla Press.
- http://www.esflamenco.com/bio/en10404.html Carmen Amaya Biography and related products.
- http://www.omayraamaya.com/carmen_home.html Carmen Amaya description on her grandniece's website.
- http://carmenamayavideo.com/ QUEEN OF THE GYPSIES, a Portrait of Carmen Amaya. VIDEO clips from the documentary.
- http://www.deflamenco.com/revista/especiales/centennial-special-carmen-amaya-1.html CENTENNIAL SPECIAL: CARMEN AMAYA