Consuelo Velázquez

Consuelo Velázquez

1916 - 2005



Consuelo Velázquez (August 21, 1916 – January 22, 2005), was a Mexican songwriter. According to her obituary and birth certificate, she was 88 years old. Most music resources list her birth date as August 29, 1924 in Ciudad Guzmán, Jalisco State, Mexico.

Velázquez was the songwriter and lyricist of many Latin standard songs, such as Amar y vivir, Verdad amarga, Franqueza, Que seas feliz, Cachito, Enamorada and, most notably, of the enduring 1940s-era hit Bésame mucho.

Velázquez, who is said to have begun playing the piano at the age of four, started her professional career as a classical music concert pianist, performing at Palacio de Bellas Artes and XEQ Radio, but later became a singer and recording artist. According to Velázquez herself, she was strongly influenced by Spanish composer Enrique Granados. She composed the romantic ballad Bésame mucho in 1940, which was soon recorded by artists around the globe, making it an international hit.

The lyrics of Bésame mucho were changed into English by Sunny Skylar and the song has been recorded by hundreds of great performers, including The Beatles, The Flamingos, Bobby Capo, Nat "King" Cole, Xavier Cugat, The Ventures, Sammy Davis Jr., Plácido Domingo, José Carreras, Ray Conniff, Frank Sinatra, Dave Brubeck, Stan Getz, Gato Barbieri, Diana Krall, Lucho Gatica, Luis Miguel and Andrea Bocelli.

Velázquez also was elected to the Mexican Congress, served as president for SACM (Society of Authors and Composers of Mexico), and was vice-president of CISAC (International Confederation of Authors and Composers Societies). She died of respiratory problems in Mexico City. Velázquez had been in hospital since she suffered a fall in November 2004.