The unmistakable voice of the Chilean singer popularized “Bésame mucho”, “Contigo en la distancia” and other immortal boleros.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Luis Enrique Gatica Silva was born August 11, 1928, in the city of Rancagua, in Chile's central-southern zone. One of seven siblings, he was orphaned at an early age and went on to study at several public schools. He finished high school at an industrial school, graduating as a dental technician.
His older brother Arturo is also a singer and encouraged him to get into music. At the age of 13 Lucho was already singing with Arturo on the radio and at soirees. Their first records feature Chilean tonadas but it was boleros that became Lucho Gatica's hallmark and brought him international fame.
His hits and solo artist recordings started in the 50s and his first hit in Latin America was the song "Me importas tú". Several unforgettable songs followed, including the famous boleros “Bésame mucho”, "Contigo en la distancia" and "Sinceridad". Idolized by his romantic fans at the time, Lucho Gatica settled in Mexico in the late 1950s and started his own family.
The several awards throughout his career include the Gabriela Mistral Medal presented by the Government of Chile in 2002. He was also presented the Latin American Grammy Award for Excellence and an emblematic star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Photo courtesy of Radio Uno