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World's Famous Female Rumba Singer

Updated on April 20, 2013

Rumba has been a traditional outlet of different folks for enjoyment purposes for several decades now. Because of various claims on its origin, there is no one definitive beginning that we can based on. But nonetheless, rumba is indeed a history to consider. This musical genre offers different styles of vocalization depending on the place it is performed and on the motif of the event. One commonality has surfaced among rumba dancers and singers are their obvious push to deduce a sexual relationship between partners. It is surprising that this dance is usually executed by couple or a pair of opposite sexes. This notion has been justified because of the obviously subtle moves projected but this also depends on the type of music being played.

According to some sources, rumba started its growth in Cuba although there were places that have crafted similar dance developments like Latin America and Caribbean islands. Its influence skyrocketed as early as 16th century popularized by some black slaves from Africa. The dance was described as extremely fast with superfluous movements and sexually aggressive attitude on the male dancers and cynical projections from the female. These frank moves that are sexually suggestive meted the dance unacceptable in some countries to the extent of laying prohibitions on it.

Rumba is considered to belong to a family of percussive rhythms. The dance and song are strictly African in style but shows more Cuban details. It is highly secular in nature. A rumba song usually commences with meaningless syllabicated words just to pimp up the excitement. Following this is a sort of chant that recites the purpose of the event. This is obviously sang with improvised lyrics and then gradually switches to a more fixed songs that are fit for the occasion.

Various countries have developed their own creolized musical styles. Although the song still depicts African and European touches, but almost nothing remains that are reminiscent of Indian origin. Because of its huge popular demands amidst 19th century, coining of different words just to form a melody has been continuously practiced.

One World’s famous rumba singer who was known as the Queen of street rumba is Celeste Mendoza. She was born in Santiago de Cuba where she originally sang ballad songs because of her convincing voice and emotive projections. But it was her signing of street rumbas that brought her worldwide fame. Her song entitled “La Confianza” is one of her most famous masterpieces. Her melodious sad voice coupled with smooth virtuosity earned her recognitions in the field of music. Her rendition of the song made a permanent mark in the history. 

She started her career in the early 1950’s where she was discovered in a singing contest and won various titles in radio contests. She eventually signed a singing contract with a recording company where she made her greatest hits. She also sang with other famous singers of the time including Rolando La Serie and Rolo Martinez. It was a fine Sunday when she died at the age of 68 in November 1998. She may have left the world and peacefully lies now in utmost peace but her music continues to make history especially in the field of rumba. 

Nostalgia Cubana - Celeste Mendoza - Canto a Benny More


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