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Graciela Beltran

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Tejano singer Graciela Beltran is widely known as one of regional Mexican music’s most influential female voices. Next to artists like Rocío Dúrcal and Selena, Beltran is credited with helping to form the genre, as well as solidifying a woman’s place in it. Born in a small town in Sinaloa, Mexico, She showed immense musical potential from an early age. After her family had relocated to Los Angeles, she began performing professionally at restaurants and fiestas as early as age six. Under the name Gracielita Beltran, she began recording albums of norteño, banda and mariachi music with local musicians. Some four years later, Beltran was noticed by record execs at EMI, who offered to produce her next record. “Baraja de Oro” was one of the first singles from the six albums Beltran recorded with EMI. It went gold, and then platinum. Her 1995 release, Tesoro, announced her as an international recording star. She appeared on important Latin American television programs like Sabado Gigante and Siempre en Domingo. Some years later, her release La Reina del Pueblo con Banda featured selections of her own and some from the late Selena. The record was such a sentimental favorite that Beltran was soon called “La Reina del Pueblo” (“The Queen of the People”) both in the press and among her fans. As the popularity of regional Mexican music grew across the U.S., so did Beltran’s popularity. Her performance venues consistently sold out, and her releases topped numerous Billboard Latin categories.

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