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Famed Cuban diva Juana Bacallao, who ruled the island’s cabaret scene, dies at 98

HAVANA (AP) — Cuban singer and cabaret diva Juana Bacallao has died. She was 98 and had still performed until recently. Cuba’s Ministry of Culture said that Bacallao died Saturday after spending several days at a hospital in Havana. Officials didn’t say why she was hospitalized. Bacallao was known for her husky voice, risque personality and being unpredictable. She performed at the famed Tropicana club in the 1940s and ’50s and sang alongside artists like Nat King Cole. She was born Neri Amelia Martínez Salazar. She was sent to a Catholic boarding school after becoming orphaned at 6 years old. Bacallao was discovered as a teenager while singing as she cleaned homes.

Article Topic Follows: AP National

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