A legend of Latin American song has died. Chavela Vargas was a cultural icon across the Spanish-speaking world, with a voice that redefined notions of beauty and an attitude that brashly bent gender roles. Vargas died Sunday; she was 93.
She was born Isabel Vargas Lizano in Costa Rica, but audiences knew her as Chavela, a hard-partying, rabble-rousing, fiery singer who adopted Mexico as her homeland and began singing on the streets in her early teens.
Gore Vidal came from a generation of novelists whose fiction gave them a political platform. Norman Mailer ran for mayor of New York City; Kurt Vonnegut became an anti-war spokesman. And Vidal was an all-around critic. His novels sometimes infuriated readers with unflattering portraits of American history.
Originally published on Sun June 17, 2012 11:23 am
Rodney King — whose 1991 beating by police officers was filmed and lead to riots in Los Angeles — was found at the bottom of his swimming pool early Sunday. He was 47. Rachel Martin speaks with NPR's Karen Grigsby Bates about the beating and how its aftermath changed race relations in America forever.