Beny Moré (sometimes Benny Moré, Benny More or Beny More) (August 24, 1919 – February 19, 1963) is considered by many fans of Cuban music as the greatest Cuban singer of all time.
He was gifted with an innate musicality and fluid tenor voice which he colored and phrased with great expressivity. Moré was a master of all the genres of Cuban music, including son montuno, mambo, guaracha, guajira, cha cha cha, afro, canción, guaguancó, and bolero.
The eldest of eighteen children, Moré was born in Santa Isabel de las Lajas in the former province of Las Villas, in central Cuba. In 1936, at age seventeen, he left Las Lajas for Havana. His first breakthrough was winning a radio competition. He then joined Trío Matamoros (later known as Conjunto Matamoros), with which he remained several years, making a number of recordings.
In 1945 Moré went with Conjunto Matamoros to Mexico, where he performed in two of the most famous cabarets of the age, the Montparnasse and the Río Rosa. He made several recordings. Conjunto Matamoros returned to Havana, while Moré remained in Mexico, where he made several recordings for RCA Victor, together with the orchestra of Mariano Mercerón: "Me voy pal pueblo" y "Desdichado". He also recorded with Pérez Prado: "Bonito y sabroso", "Mucho corazón", "Pachito el ché", and "Ensalada de mambo". He also recorded "Dolor carabalí", which Moré considered his best composition recorded with Pérez Prado, and one he never wanted to re-record.
At the end of 1950, Moré returned to Cuba. He was a star in Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Brazil and Puerto Rico, but virtually unknown on the island. His first Cuban recording was "Bonito y Sabroso". Moré eventually decided to start his own orchestra, which he called Banda Gigante. In the years 1954 and 1955, Moré's group became immensely popular. In 1956 and 1957, it toured Venezuela, Jamaica, Haiti, Colombia, Panama, Mexico and the United States, where the group played at the Oscar ceremonies.
In the aftermath of the Cuban Revolution, many of Moré's colleagues, such as singer Celia Cruz, left for the US where they earned large amounts of money performing and recording. However, Moré preferred to remain in Cuba. He died in 1963 at age 43 of cirrhosis. An estimated 100,000 fans attended his funeral.
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