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Carr, Vikki (1941–)

Carr, Vikki (1941–)

Mexican-American pop singer. Name variations: Florencia Bisenta de Casillas Martinez Cardona. Born Florencia Bisenta de Casillas Martinez Cardona, July 19, 1941, in El Paso, Texas; raised in San Gabriel Valley, California; eldest of 7 children.

Began performing at 4; sang with Pepe Callahan's Mexican-Irish Band in Los Angeles; broke through to solo stardom after debut in Reno with Chuck Leonard Quartet, signing contract with Liberty Records (1961); under name Vikki Carr, recorded "He's a Rebel" (1961), a hit in Australia, followed by "It Must Be Him" which rose to #1 on British pop charts and earned her 3 Grammy nominations (1962); released a string of hits, including the Grammy Award-nominated "With Pen in Hand," as well as "The Lesson" and "For Once in My Life"; signed by Columbia Records (1970), released such favorites as "Love Story," "Live at the Greek," and "Ms. America"; a beloved performer in the Latin world, recorded Vikki Carr en Español (1972); was 1st female to regularly guest host for Johnny Carson on "The Tonight Show"; made acting debut on "The Bing Crosby Show" and had guest roles on several other tv programs, performing on stage as well; signed with Columbia Records, Mexico (1980) and released such albums as Vikki Carr y El Amor; earned gold and platinum albums for Spanish-language recordings in US, Mexico, Chile, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Colombia and Ecuador; won Grammy award for 1st Mariachi recording, Simplemente Mujer (1985), and then again for Cosas de Amor (1992) and Recuerdo a Javier Solis (1995); taped PBS special "The Mexican Americans" (2000); set up the Vikki Carr Scholarship Foundation for Mexican-Americans pursuing higher education (1971).

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