Consuelo Velázquez

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Consuelo Velázquez (August 21, 1916 – January 22, 2005) (popularly also known as Consuelito Velázquez) was a Mexican concert pianist, songwriter and recording artist.

According to her obituary, she was 88 years old when she died. Most music resources, however, list her birth date as August 29, 1924, in Ciudad Guzmán, state of Jalisco, Mexico.

Velázquez was the songwriter and lyricist of many Spanish standard songs, such as Amar y vivir, Verdad amarga, Franqueza, Que seas feliz, Abuela abuela, Cachito, Enamorada and, most notably, the enduring 1940s-era standard Bésame mucho, a romantic ballad which was soon recorded by artists around the globe, making it an international hit.

Velázquez, who is said to have begun playing the piano at the age of four, started her professional career as a classical music concert pianist, performing at Palacio de Bellas Artes and XEQ Radio, but later became a singer and recording artist. According to Velázquez herself, she was strongly influenced by Spanish composer Enrique Granados.

Velázquez also was elected to the Mexican Congress, served as president for SACM (Society of Authors and Composers of Mexico), and was vice-president of CISAC (International Confederation of Authors and Composers Societies). She died of respiratory problems in Mexico City. Velázquez had been in hospital since she suffered a fall in November 2004.

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