Lola Beltrán

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Lola Beltrán
Beltrán in 1956
María Lucila Beltrán Ruiz

(1932-03-07)7 March 1932
Died24 March 1996(1996-03-24) (aged 64)[1]
Mexico City, Mexico
Resting placeChurch of Our Lady of the Rosary
Other namesLola la Grande
  • Singer
  • actress
  • television presenter
SpouseAlfredo Leal
ChildrenMaria Elena Leal Beltrán
Musical career
  • Vocals
Years active1940–96

María Lucila "Lola" Beltrán Ruiz[a] (7 March 1932 – 24 March 1996) was a Mexican actress and singer.

She is and was one of Mexico's most acclaimed singers of Ranchera and Huapango music. She collaborated with other Mexican music stars such as Amalia Mendoza, Juan Gabriel and Lucha Villa. She was internationally renowned for her interpretation of the songs "Cucurrucucú paloma" and "Paloma Negra" and sang before world leaders. She was nicknamed Lola la Grande ("Lola the Great").[2] Her song Soy infeliz ("I'm Unhappy") was the opening music for Pedro Almodóvar's film Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.[3]


Beltrán was born in the town of El Rosario, Sinaloa[1] where she was schooled by Carmelite nuns. Her mother enjoyed singing and her father managed a mine.[4] She completed secretarial studies while participating in singing competitions. She was intrigued by ballads and the singing she heard in church. Eventually, Beltrán and her mother moved to Mexico City so that she could find a career performing.[1] Beltrán worked as a secretary at a Mexican radio station, XEW.[5] She pestered the radio station to be allowed to sing. The station and listeners were so impressed that within a year she had her own radio show. Beltrán credits the station with giving her a chance, which enabled her to make a career. It was there that she met the songwriter Tomás Méndez who composed songs for her, including the international hits "Cucurrucucú paloma" and "Tres Dias".[4][6]

Beltrán was the first wife of the matador and film actor Alfredo Leal Kuri [es][7] and had a daughter with him, singer María Elena Leal.[4] She entered the world of film in 1954 in El Tesoro de la Muerte. After appearing in dozens of films, most of them musicals, she obtained a starring role in the telenovela Mi rival with Saby Kamalich.

She features on a mural with other icons of Mexico including Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata

In cinema, Beltrán made her film debut on El cantor del circo (1940), an Argentine film. She also shared credits with Mexican movie stars such as Emilio Fernández, Ignacio López Tarso, Katy Jurado, María Félix and Pedro Armendáriz in La Bandida (1963). Her last film appearance was in Una gallina muy ponedora (1982) sharing credits with Columba Domínguez.

As a television presenter, she hosted the programs Noches tapatías (1976) and her own television program entitled El estudio de Lola Beltrán (1984),[5] programs in which she received stars such as Cornelio Reyna, Juan Gabriel, Lucha Villa, La Prieta Linda and Luis Miguel.

Beltrán is considered one of the most successful ranchera artists of all time. She gave concerts before various world leaders:[1] President Charles de Gaulle of France,[5] the leader of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito, Soviet foreign minister Andrei Gromyko, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Leonid Brezhnev, King of Spain Juan Carlos I[4] and Queen Sofia, Queen Elizabeth II,[5] American Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower,[4] John F. Kennedy,[5] Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon and Presidents of Mexico Adolfo Ruiz Cortines and Carlos Salinas de Gortari.[citation needed]

She was the first ranchera singer to perform at the Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts), the premier opera house and concert hall in Mexico. She also sang in the Olympia Music Hall in Paris,[5] the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow and the Conservatory of Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) in the former Soviet Union.[citation needed]

Beltrán was honored in 1995 with her inclusion into a series of commemorative postage stamps, issued by her native Mexico, honoring 'Popular Idols of Radio'. This was done in recognition of her lifetime achievement in the realm of popular music and her success in spreading an appreciation of Mexican culture throughout the world.


Lola Beltran at the Olympia (Paris), 1979
Beltrán's grave with wrong birthdate at Church of Our Lady of the Rosary in El Rosario, Sinaloa

On March 24, 1996, soon after recording Disco del Siglo (English: Album of the Century) with Lucha Villa and Amalia Mendoza "La Tariácuri" and produced by Juan Gabriel, Beltrán died of a pulmonary embolism[5] at Hospital Ángeles in Mexico City. She had appeared in about 50 films and recorded about a hundred albums.[1] Her body was laid on display in the rotunda of the Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts) in Mexico City.

On March 7, 2024, Google celebrated the 92nd anniversary of her birth with a Google Doodle.[8][1]



Year Title Role Notes
1973 Mi rival Lola 19 episodes

Television shows[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1976 Noches tapatias Host
1982 El estudio de Lola Beltrán Host


Cinema of Argentina[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1940 El Cantor del circo

Cinema of Mexico[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1954 El tesoro de la muerte
1954 La Desconocida
1955 Bluebeard (Los lios de Barba Azul) doña Lola Bárbara Beltrán
1955 Al diablo las mujeres
1953 Espaldas mojadas
1955 Soy un golfo
1955 Pueblo quieto
1955 Camino de Guanajuato
1955 De carne somos
1956 Una movida chuecaa
1956 Con quién andan nuestras hijas? Prieta de Xochimilco
1956 Pensión de artistas
1957 Rogaciano el huapanguero
1957 Donde las dan las toman
1958 Guitarras de medianoche
1958 Música en la noche
1958 It Happened in Mexico (Sucedió en México)
1960 ¡Qué bonito amor!
1960 Las canciones unidas
1961 México Lindo y Querido
1961 ¿Dónde Estás Corazón?
1961 La joven mancornadora
1961 Besito a papá
1962 Camino de la horca Lupe
1963 La Bandida Cantante de palenque (Singer of palenque)
1963 The Paper Man (El hombre de papel) Puestera Voice
1963 Baila mi amor
1964 México de mi corazón
1964 El revólver sangriento Carmen
1964 Canción del alma Lola
1965 Los Hermanos Muerte'
1965 Cucurrucucú Paloma[9] Paloma Méndez
1966 Tirando a gol
1966 Matar es fácil
1968 Valentín de la Sierra
1969 Duelo en El Dorado
1971 Furias bajo el cielo
1972 Padre nuestro que estás en la tierra Matilde
1975 Me caíste del cielo Lupita
1975 Las fuerzas vivas Chabela, Eufemio's wife
1982 Una gallina muy ponedora

Cinema of Spain[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1947 Song of Dolores


  1. ^ In this Spanish name, the first or paternal surname is Beltrán and the second or maternal family name is Ruiz.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Who is Lola Beltrán: Google Doodle celebrates iconic Mexican artist". The Independent. 2024-03-07. Retrieved 2024-03-07.
  2. ^ "Unofficial Lola Beltran Resource". Archived from the original on 2018-08-09. Retrieved 2007-04-16.
  3. ^ "Soundtrack for Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown". IMDB.
  4. ^ a b c d e Rohter, Larry (1996-03-26). "Lola Beltran, Singer, Dies; Mexico's Adored 'Grande'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2024-03-07.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g, S. W. I. (2021-03-24). "Un cuarto de siglo sin Lola Beltrán, la reina de la canción ranchera". SWI (in European Spanish). Retrieved 2024-03-07.
  6. ^ Mendez, Tomas (2016-03-04). "Mi Cancionero: Tomás Méndez Sosa" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2024-03-07.
  7. ^ "Recordar es vivir - Biografía de Alfredo Leal". recordaresvivir (in Spanish). 2004-06-21. Retrieved 2024-03-07.
  8. ^ Desk, OV Digital (2024-03-07). "Lola Beltrán: A Journey of Music, Fame, and Eternal Legacy". Observer Voice. Retrieved 2024-03-07.
  9. ^ Windisch, Anna K.; Tieber, Claus; Powrie, Phil (2023-05-02). When Music Takes Over in Film. Springer Nature. p. 25. ISBN 978-3-030-89155-8.

External links[edit]