María del Rocío Trinidad Mohedano Jurado (Spanish pronunciation: [roˈθi.o xuˈɾaðo], 18 September 1944 – 1 June 2006), better known as Rocío Jurado, was a Spanish singer and actress. She was born in Chipiona (Cádiz) and nicknamed "La más grande" ("The Greatest").
In 2000 in New York, she won the prize "La voz del Milenio" for best female voice of the 20th century. Rocío Jurado sold more than 16 million records, making her one of the best-selling Spanish female singers. She received 5 platinum and 30 gold discs.[nb 1]
Childhood and youth
Rocío Jurado was born in Calvo Soto Street 11, Chipiona (Cádiz) in Andalusia, Spain. Her father, Fernando Mohedano Crespo (died at 36 years old) was a shoemaker and flamenco singer in his spare time; her mother, Rocío Jurado Bernal (died at 52 years old because of pancreatic cancer) was housewife and amateur performer of Spanish traditional music. Rocío Jurado was the eldest of 3 children, Amador (1954) and Gloria (1955) and she had 3 nephews and 5 nieces.
At home, Rocío Jurado learned to love music; her first public performance was at the age of eight, in a play at Colegio La Divina Pastora. She learn to work hard when she was a girl, She sang in the church, and took part in some festivals organized by her school when she was fifteen years. After her father's death, she helped the precarious family finances. She worked as a shoemaker and as a fruit picker, and still had time to show up to Radio Sevilla contests. She came to be known as "The Girl of the Awards" after winning every radio station contest she entered. A friend of her mother introduced her to Manolo Caracol her teacher.
Pastora Imperio immediately hired Rocío for the tablao (flamenco stage) she ran: El Duende, one of the first of the tablaos period. Being a minor, she had to wear clothes that made her appear older to avoid drawing the attention of the authorities.
Her workmate, the flamenco singer and dancer Cañeta de Málaga, who had also arrived in Madrid under age to seek her art and was hired in El Duende, recalls in an interview how the young Rocío sang "sus alegrías, sus tientos y sus cosas de la Piquer". Rocío had always said that she was born in 1944 because when she arrived in Madrid to sing in 1960 she was a minor. Until she was 16 she could not sing in the tablaos, for this reason she falsified her date of birth, adding two years more and saying that she was born in 1944 instead of 1946.
Professionally, Rocío Jurado emerged with a repertoire mostly of copla, a Spanish traditional genre that was beginning to lose force which she revitalized with energetic performances, as much in voice as in stage presence.
Popular in the 60's and early 70's, in part by some appearances as an actress in television and film as in the Curro Jiménez series, Rocío made the leap to international star status by leaning toward a melodic repertoire of romantic ballad with orchestral instruments and a personal image (make-up, hairdressing and costumes) in line with the European style.
Rocío alternated the flamenco tailed dress (bata de cola) with sumptuous evening dresses, sometimes highly commented on by their audacity. In the 70's and 80's Rocios recorded her most unmistakable successes: "Como una ola", "Señora", "Como yo te amo", "Ese hombre", "Se nos rompió el amor", "A que no te vas", "Muera el amor", "Vibro"... Many of them composed by Manuel Alejandro and recorded by José Antonio Álvarez Alija.
The prolonged celebrity of Rocío lies in the romantic songs rather than in its purely Spanish folkloric facet. She was famous for these ballads also in Hispano-America, where perhaps she remained in fashion for longer than in Spain, which explains her later scores with Mexican and Caribbean rhythms: "Me ha dicho la luna", "Te cambio mi bulería"...She recorded duets with famous figures from that continent: with José Luis Rodríguez "El Puma" the song "Amigo amor" and with Ana Gabriel the ambiguous song "Amor silencio". In 1990 participated in a show of tribute to Lola Flores in Miami, in which she recorded the duet "Dejándonos la piel".
Nevertheless, the romantic successes of international reach did not remove Rocío from its more Andalusian facet. The most convincing declaration of Rocío Jurado in this sense would arrive years later when already she was an outstanding interpreter of the copla and ballads. In 1982 she applied her extraordinary talents to flamenco singing in a double LP with the collaboration of two main figures of this genre: the guitarist Manolo Sanlúcar and the singer Juan Peña "Lebrijano". Titled Ven & Sígueme, she discovered that the famous singer also moved with ease on the roads of Cante jondo. In spite of an already well-developed lyric, the multifaceted artist demonstrates her knowledge and her compass in a series of rigorously traditional folk singing and interpreted with great affection. The filmmaker Carlos Saura took notice and used the voice of Rocío in two feature films: El amor brujo with Cristina Hoyos in 1986 and Sevillanas in 1992 where she plays with such important figures in the flamenco world as Paco de Lucía, Camarón de la Isla, Tomatito, Lola Flores, Manuela Carrasco or Matilde Coral among many others.
Rocío Jurado was one of the protagonists of the spectacle Azabache, a musical based on Andalusian copla in which she took part with other artists specialized in this genre, such as Nati Mistral, Juanita Reina, Imperio Argentina and María Vidal. They released this spectacle during the Universal Exposition of Seville in 1992 (Expo '92).
In 1998, on the occasion of the Festival of Jerez de la Frontera dedicated to flamenco dancing, the Theatre Villamarta had to announce that they were sold out for the Rocio's gala weeks before the spectacle and before any other spectacles. An homage to the singer was made with the adaptation using "bulerías", a Flamenco variety of the song "Se nos rompió el amor" made by Fernando de Utrera. This song was originally composed by Manuel Alejandro but it was Rocío who had made it popular.
Rocio's voice was recognised internationally. She was awarded with the Best Female Voice of the 20th century in 2000. This award was conceded in 2000 in New York City by a group of journalists of the spectacle. In addition, in 1985, she sang for the President of the United States of America, Ronald Reagan in the White House. She was so popular that her death merited an article in the Billboard website. On April 2, 1988, Rocío received the award "América", which recognised the Best Latin Voice. The ceremony took place at the Caesars Palace Casino (Las Vegas). The Spanish channel Antena 3 announced in 2011 the shooting of a TV Movie (mini series) about Rocio's life. It will be soon released and its title will be Como alas al viento.
Illness and death
In August 2004, she had a high-risk surgery at the Montepríncipe Hospital (Madrid). Later on September 17, she would announce that she had pancreatic cancer in a press conference. In June 2005, the XIV "Festival de la Yerbabuena" was dedicated to her at Las Cabezas de San Juan, a village from Seville. She accepted with her childhood friend Juan Peña, "El Lebrijano," the award which was given to her father.
After more than a year of professional inactivity, Rocío re-appeared in December 2005, with a special programme in the Spanish Public Television (TVE) called Rocío, siempre, where she demonstrated her condition. The spectacle, which was filmed in two different sessions included an important part dedicated to the folkloric music and the other to her famous ballads and other of her hits. She sang in duet some of the songs with the most famous Spanish singers: Raphael, Mónica Naranjo, Paulina Rubio, David Bisbal, and Malú, among others.
In January 2006, Rocío Jurado was hospitalized in the MD Anderson Hospital in Houston (Texas), for a check-up and to have a small surgery. An allergic reaction to one of the medicines provoked her hospitalization in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) two times, which delayed her coming back to Spain until March 2006. The same day she had to come back to Spain, the government gave her an award for her work merits (Medalla al Mérito en el Trabajo), which was announced to her once she landed in Spain.
On June 1, 2006, at 4:15 a.m., Jurado was found dead in her house in La Moraleja, an affluent residential area located in the municipality of Alcobendas, a northern suburb of Madrid. The cause of death was the pancreatic cancer she had been struggling with. Her brother and manager, Amador Mohedano Jurado, announced her death in front of the residence at 6 o’clock in the morning. Her body was transferred to the Centro Cultural de la Villa at Plaza de Colón in central Madrid, where a funeral chapel attended by more than 20,000 individuals. Finally, her body was transferred to Chipiona and buried at the local San José cemetery, where a mausoleum was built in her honour.
Rocío was the first to substitute the typical regional costume with formal dresses with an international style, although she never forgot her origins. On May 21, 1976, when she got married with the boxer Pedro Carrasco at the Sanctuary Virgen de Regla, she wore a traditional costume with a comb and flounces. They only had one daughter, Rocío Carrasco Mohedano. In private, she sometimes recognized that she did not have time to dedicate to her daughter; she had long tours in America and Europe which drove her away from her daughter. After she got divorced in July 1989 and after obtaining the marriage annulment, Rocío got married with the terrific driver José Ortega Cano on February 17, 1995 at her house in the country Dehesa Yerbabuena, in front of more 2300 guests. The ceremony was broadcast live (and prerecorded) on all the television channels. At the end of 1999, the couple adopted two Colombian children, José Fernando and Gloria Camila, who were presented in public in the Spanish magazine ¡Hola!.
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- Hija Predilecta of Chipiona (1968)
- Plaque Company De Castilla, beating box office record for both public attendance, as revenue at the Teatro Monumental in Madrid, with its series of "Rocío Jurado Brava" concerts (1986)
- ABC Gold Award (1987)
- Humanity Award, awarded by ASPACE (Spanish Confederation of Federations and Associations of Care for People with Cerebral Palsy and Allied; 1992)
- Gold Medal of Fine Arts from Don Juan Carlos I, King of Spain (1995)
- Ambassador of Cadiz (1996).
- Pimiento de Oro (Ciudad de Murcia; 1999)
- Honorary member of the American Forum of the Arts (July 2002 – death)
- Golden Star Press (2004)
- Gold Medal of Merit in Labour (Kingdom of Spain, 24 March 2006).
- Best Female Voice of the Twentieth Century - "The Voice of the Millennium Prize" (2000; New York)
- Hija Predilecta of the Province of Cádiz (1999)
- Gold Medal of Merit in Labour (2006)
- Hija Adoptiva of the Province of Seville (2007; posthumous)
- Flamenco Singing National Award (Jerez de la Frontera). She obtained this award at the age of 15.
- Al Andalus Trophy.
- Protagonist of the Year with Montserrat Caballé, in the Programme by Luis Del Olmo (1982).
- Radio Nacional de España (the Spanish National radio Channel) designated her as "The most popular Andalusian person of the Year", and "The best interpreter". This last recognition was due to the success of her song "Tengo miedo", which had the first places in the Spanish Hits for a couple of months.
- Lady España in 1967.10
- "Parra de Oro" at the historic Festival of Moscatel (1968).
- En 1984, the Gold Medal for the Touristic Merit was given to her.
- Andaluza Universal (1984).
- Gold Medal by Junta de Andalucía (1986).
- In 1986, she received a plaque (Placa Empresa De Castilla), for beating the record both for the attendance and for the money collection at the Monumental Theatre of Madrid, during her performances 'Rocío Jurado Brava'.
- 1966 - Proceso a una estrella (Columbia)
- 1969 - Mi Amigo (Columbia)
- 1971 - Un Clavel (Columbia)
- 1973 - Soy de España (Columbia)
- 1975 - Rocío Interpreta a Alberto Bourbon (RCA)
- 1976 - A que no te vas (RCA)
- 1976 - No me des Guerra (Columbia)
- 1976 - Carmen de España (Columbia)
- 1976 - Fandangos de Isla Cristina (Flamenco) (Columbia)
- 1976 - Amor Marinero (RCA)
- 1978 - Don Golondon (Columbia)
- 1978 - De ahora en adelante (RCA)
- 1979 - Canta a México: Canta con Mariachi (RCA)
- 1979 - Por Derecho (RCA)
- 1979 - Señora (RCA)
- 1981 - Canciones de España (RCA)
- 1981 - Como una Ola (RCA)
- 1982 - Ven y Sígueme (RCA)
- 1983 - Canciones de España II: Y sin embargo te quiero (RCA)
- 1983 - Desde dentro (RCA)
- 1985 - Paloma Brava (EMI)
- 1986 - Suspiro de Amor (RCA)
- 1987 - ¿Dónde estás amor? (EMI)
- 1988 - Canciones de España Inéditas (EMI)
- 1988 - Punto de Partida (EMI)
- 1990 - Rocío de Luna Blanca (EMI)
- 1990 - Nueva Navidad (Sony)
- 1991 - Sevilla (Sony)
- 1993 - Como las alas al viento (Sony)
- 1993 - La Lola se va a los puertos B.S.O (Sony)
- 1994 - Palabra de honor (Sony)
- 1998 - Con mis cinco sentidos (Sony)
- 2001 - La más grande: Con la Orquesta Sinfónica de Bratislava (Bat Records)
- 2003 - Yerbabuena y Nopal (Sum Records)
- 2006 - Rocío Siempre (Sony-BMG)
- 2013 - Romances
- La Lola se va a los puertos (1993)
- Sevillanas (1992)
- El amor brujo (1986)
- La querida (1976)
- Rocío y los detonadores (TV film, 1972)
- Una chica casi decente (1971)
- Lola la piconera (TV film, 1969)
- En Andalucía nació el amor (1966)
- Proceso a una estrella (1966)
- Los Guerrilleros (1963)
- Although some sources indicates she received 150 gold discs and 63 platinum discs.
- Obituary, elmundo.es; accessed 18 May 2014.
- "La más grande (¿olvidada?) para la industria discográfica" (in Spanish). EFE. 31 May 2016. Archived from the original on 17 June 2020. Retrieved 21 July 2020.
- "Vida y obra de Rocío Jurado". People en Español (in Spanish). 1 June 2006. Archived from the original on 13 July 2020. Retrieved 21 July 2020.
- Pinteño, Alberto (1 June 2018). "Rocío Jurado: la historia íntima de la más grande". Vanity Fair.
- "Rocío Jurado regresa a España tras dos meses en Houston y es ingresada en una clínica madrileña". El Mundo. 24 March 2006. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
- "Rocío Jurado confiesa que tuvo cáncer y anuncia su recuperación". El Mundo. 17 September 2004. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
- Rocío Jurado's brother denies she died of a stroke Archived 2007-03-12 at the Wayback Machine, canada.com; accessed 18 May 2014.
- "Muere Rocío Jurado en su casa de Madrid". El Mundo. 1 June 2006. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
- "Rocio Jurado - Lo mas grande". Retrieved 25 December 2013.
- "Jose Fernando, el hijo descarriado". ABC. 9 April 2012. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
- "La herencia maldita de Rocío Jurado". AB. 12 May 2013. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
- "Personajes ilustres". Ayuntamiento de Chipiona.
- Boletín Oficial del Estado
- "Cádiz.- Jurado.- Las banderas de la Diputación Provincial de Cádiz ondean a media asta por la que fue Hija Predilecta". Europa Press. 1 June 2006.
- Rivas, Rosa (25 March 2006). "Rocío Jurado ingresa en una clínica madrileña al regresar de Houston". El País.
- "Carmen Sevilla, Rafael Escuredo y Rocío Jurado, Hijos Predilectos e Hija Adoptiva de la provincia". ABC. 23 May 2007.