Margarita Pracatan is a Cuban novelty singer, who found success in the 1990s when Clive James had her perform live on his TV show on numerous occasions. Radio DJ Martin Kelner also played her frequently on his BBC Night Network and BBC Radio 2 programmes.
Pracatan's father was a union leader in Cuba. She began singing at home when she was three years old. She worked in a store selling men's underwear while singing at night. She is divorced with one daughter.
James showed clips of her highly individual, heavily Hispanic-inflected performances of pop hits (notably Lionel Richie's Hello and New York, New York) to great popular success on his BBC series Saturday Night Clive. According to her website, Clive James discovered her Manhattan public-access television cable TV program in 1994 and invited her to the UK to appear on his show. He sweet-talked her into believing he was serious, and she signed up. Not once on the show did he make it overt that he knew what he was doing, but his introductions to her end-of-show performances contained a tiny amount of teasing irony. James said of Pracatan, "She never lets the words or melody get in her way. She is us, without the fear of failure."
Pracatan can be seen on the Manhattan Neighborhood Network public-access television channel 56 on Saturday nights at 9:30pm. She has also toured in the United Kingdom. She has also toured Australia, appearing as part of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival, during the mid 1990s.
- KENDALL, PAUL (May 10, 2009). "whatever happened to... Margarita Pracatan". The Sunday Telegraph. p. 54.
- GREENSTREET, ROSANNA (May 3, 1997). "Lastword: The Questionnaire: Margarita Pracatan". The Guardian. p. T.065.
- margaritapracatan.com - Official Website.
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