Lola Beltran, the soulful Mexican singer whose achingly emotional renditions of mariachi ballads made her known as Lola the Great to generations of Latin Americans, died on Sunday night in Mexico City. She was believed to be in her mid-60s.
The cause was a stroke, said her daughter, Maria Elena Leal.
Among Mexicans and Mexican-Americans, Lola la Grande was held in high esteem for her ability to capture in her music what they consider the melancholy essence of life. Song after song found her confronting suffering, loneliness, abandonment or loss with an equanimity that her millions of listeners found inspiring and moving.
In a tribute written in 1994, the Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes declared that “passion and desire, joy and risk, tenderness and the cry for existence are the wings of this dove that is the voice of our lady Lola Beltran.”