Singer (1923 - 1995)
Lola Flores was born María de los Dolores Flores Ruiz in Jerez de la Frontera on January 21st, 1923. Her family were poor and from as young as ten she would earn a few pesetas pocket money by singing in the local bars. At the age of fifteen, Lola was in a group with other artists who formed a variety show: "Mary Paz" and in 1940 she managed to convince her father to sell the bar he owned and move the family to Madrid.
The first film she took part in was "Martingala", in which she sang a copla. At the same time she started taking classes in the academy of the well-known teacher, Quiroga.
Together with Manolo Caracol, they took the musical "Zambra" on tour throughout Spain between 1944 and 1951. A year later she visited Latin-America for the first time and enjoyed a successful debut being in Mexico. Lola Flores would return numerous times to the American Continent in the years to come. She became known as "La Faraona", and in 1955 this film was premiered. She was also known as "Lola de España". Lola Flores published around 50 records, in which she interpreted rumbas, rancheras, coplas, and flamenco.
In 1987, Hacienda (inland revenue) problems arose, and in 1991 she was imprisoned for tax fraud for 16 months, as well as being fined 28 million pesetas for failing to declare her income between 1982 and 1985.
In 1990, Tico Medina published her memoirs under the title "A Carne Viva". Lola Flores' favourite hobby was painting and exhibitions of her work have been held in both Spain and America.
Lola Flores married guitarist Antonio González, "El Pescailla", and they had three children: Lolita, Antonio and Rosario. All three showed an interest in the arts.
"La Faraona" died of cancer in 1995. At the time of her death, mourners crowded Madrid's streets, waiting for the coffin to go by and singing "La Zarzamora", which was one of her favourite songs. Lola Flores will undoubtedly always be remembered for her gypsy passion which manifests itself in her work.
A few days later, her son Antonio died in their family house "El Lerele". His drug habit was well-known and had haunted the last years of his life. He was devastated by his mother's death and died shortly after of an overdose, leaving behind a wife and daughter (Alba) as well as many fans, adding to the Flores' family tragedy. Following his death, an anthology of his work was released which contains some of his best-known songs.
Her two daughters Rosario and Lolita continue with their successful singing careers.