Guest DJs

La Lupe, Queen Of Latin Soul: The Original Alt.Latina

Album cover for La Lupe. i i
Courtesy of the artist
Album cover for La Lupe.
Courtesy of the artist

A Cuban icon known as the Queen of Latin Soul, La Lupe has been a massively influential figure across Latin culture. We'd give anything to talk to her today, but she's long-gone; La Lupe died in 1992. So we turned to her biographer.

Juan A. Moreno-Velázquez has written extensively about the great performer, and his book Demystifying a Diva: The Truth Behind the Myth of La Lupe is finally available in English. The book is fascinating, covering music, the industry and an important piece in the puzzle depicting Latino life in America.

He also co-authored the script for an upcoming film about the Cuban legend, tentatively titled I Am Lupe and starring Lauren Vélez in the title role. The film is set for release in 2014.

As far as I'm concerned, La Lupe was one of the original Alt.Latinas. She was the epitome of cool: controversial, tantalizing, a true rebel and a rule-breaker. Growing up in Cuba, when her stepmother told her that a black Latina could never make it as a famous singer, she powered forward. When she was told she was too sexual, she laughed and kept going. She was a force of nature.

La Lupe was also an immensely tragic figure who, like many stars of her caliber, fell into the company of people who took advantage of her fame and money. Toward the end of her life, the Queen of Latin Soul struggled with mental-health issues, was briefly homeless and died with none of the glamour and money she'd earned over the years.

Join us for a musically rich conversation about the life and legend of La Lupe, the original bad girl of Latin music.

La Lupe, Queen Of Soul: The Original Alt.Latina

c

c x hide caption

itoggle caption x

La Lupe

  • Album: Con el Diablo en el Cuerpo...
  • Song: Fiebre

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Fiebre
Album
Con el Diablo en el Cuerpo...
Artist
La Lupe
Released
1960

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

Cover for Best of La Lupe

La Lupe

  • Album: Best of La Lupe
  • Song: Que Te Pedi

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Que Te Pedi
Album
Best of La Lupe
Artist
La Lupe
Label
Fania
Released
1974

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

x

x x hide caption

itoggle caption x

La Lupe

  • Album: Puro Teatro
  • Song: Saraycoco

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Saraycoco
Album
Puro Teatro
Artist
La Lupe
Released
2010

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

x

x x hide caption

itoggle caption x

La Lupe

  • Album: Dance with the Queen
  • Song: Besito Pa' Ti
Cover for Best of La Lupe

La Lupe

  • Album: Best of La Lupe
  • Song: Puro Teatro

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Puro Teatro
Album
Best of La Lupe
Artist
La Lupe
Label
Fania
Released
1974

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

x

x x hide caption

itoggle caption x

Tito Puente Y La Lupe

  • Album: Rey y Yo (The King and I)
  • Song: Yesterday

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Yesterday
Album
Rey y Yo (The King and I)
Artist
Tito Puente Y La Lupe
Label
Get Back Records
Released
1967

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

x

x Jim Geuther/x hide caption

itoggle caption Jim Geuther/x

La Lupe

  • Album: Es La Reina (The Queen)
  • Song: Reina

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Reina
Album
Es La Reina (The Queen)
Artist
La Lupe
Label
Tico
Released
1969

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

x

x x hide caption

itoggle caption x

La Lupe

  • Album: Anthology
  • Song: Me Siento Guajira

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Me Siento Guajira
Album
Anthology
Artist
La Lupe
Label
Fania
Released
2012

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.