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Pastorita Huaracina

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Biography

Pastorita Huaracina (December 19, 1930 - May 2001) born María Alvarado Trujillo, was a Peruvian singer who strongly identified with the traditions of the rural Andes.

Her career began in the era of 78 rpm records and lasted into that of compact discs. In the 1950s she recorded 4 songs a month and sold more records in Peru than the Beatles. Her success established her reputation as the diva of Andean song and she won every award that pertained to her type of music. She toured extensively in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

Pastorita Huaracina was born in the Malvas district of Aija Province, Ancash region. Reportedly, even as a young child tending the flocks, she already loved to sing. Raised speaking Quechua, upon the death of her mother she came to Lima at the age of 8, with no luggage or money and no one to meet her, and speaking very little Spanish.
She debuted as a performer on her 12th birthday. She began as a performer of Andean dances but later became a singer and composer of songs. She developed a reputation as disciplined trouper, always the first to arrive at a rehearsal or performance; this continued even once she became a star. She always advocated for authenticity in the performance of Andean music and dance, including the use of traditional outfits: “typical dress is not a costume, it is part of our identity, something we must assume with honor and pride, being conscious of whom we represent…”

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