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Vikki Carr Poster

Biography

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Overview (2)

Date of Birth 19 July 1941El Paso, Texas, USA
Birth NameFlorencia Bisenta de Casillas Martinez Cardona

Mini Bio (1)

Vikki Carr is one of the best-loved and most accomplished entertainers in the United States, Latin America and Europe. She is celebrating her fifth decade of a career in which she has won four Grammy Awards and has released over 60 best-selling recordings. Her concert tours of 2006-2007 sold-out shows in the U.S., Mexico and South America. She has performed for the Queen of England, five United States Presidents, wartime soldiers in Vietnam and sold-out audiences around the world. She has worked in radio, television, film and theater. Her music embraces two languages and she is among the first artists to bridge the cultures of the United States and Latin America, paving the way for many performers today.

In 2008, Vikki Carr was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Grammy from the Latin Recording Academy.

In 2008, Vikki filmed a TV special Fiesta Mexicana (2008) for PBS TV.

EMI-Gold released a 3-disc set, "Vikki Carr: The Ultimate Collection" to rave reviews. Recordings made in the very early years of Vikki's career debut on this compilation. Along with many of her well known hits such as "It Must Be Him" (in English, Italian and Spanish), "With Pen In Hand", "He's A Rebel" and concert staple including "Can't Take My Eyes Off You". In April 2007, EMI-Gold released "Vikki Carr: Ways to Love a Man/Nashville by Carr" a 2 on 1 CD that allowed fans to hear a very emotional delivery of classics like "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down", "Singing My Song" and "A Dissatisfied Man". Sony Mexico just released a CD/DVD collection titled "Las Numero 1" featuring 20 of Vikki's top Spanish hits on CD along with 10 of her television performances on DVD.

In 2002, Vikki starred in the Reprise production of Stephen Sondheim's beloved musical "Follies" in Los Angeles. She garnered glowing reviews for her performance from the LA Times, Hollywood Reporter and Variety. Her latest recording projects include "The Vikki Carr Christmas Album", released on Delta, which features Christmas Classics in both English and Spanish. Another recording, the PBS special "Vikki Carr: Memories, Memorias", is a salute to the English-language hits of the 1940's and 1950's, which were originally composed by Latinos. Produced by KCET/Hollywood, the program recreates the elegant setting of Hollywood supper clubs and theaters where popular artists of the era performed. The show, which features Jack Jones, Pepe Aguilar and Arturo Sandoval, was first released on video and CD through the national PBS pledge campaigns.

The diversity of her rich voice is impressive. She can belt out the blues or touch the heart with a soft romantic ballad. Frank Sinatra said, "She possesses my kind of voice", Dean Martin called her "the best girl singer in the business" and Bing Crosby and Ella Fitzgerald named her among their three favorite female singers of all time. Elvis Presley was also very fond of her and even remarked on stage in Las Vegas many times that Vikki Carr was one of his favorite singers and that he liked her because "she sang from the gut" and introduced her at many of his personal appearances in which she attended. Born in El Paso, Texas, and raised in the San Gabriel Valley of California, Vikki Carr, the eldest of seven children, began performing at the tender age of four singing Adeste Fidelis in Latin at a Christmas program. She was signed to a contract with Liberty Records in 1961. She recorded "He's A Rebel", which first became a hit in Australia. That title was soon followed by the unforgettable release, "It Must Be Him", which charged up the charts in England. One year later, the single was released in the United States and earned Carr four Grammy Award nominations. The international hit emerged again when she and the song were featured in the storyline of the Academy Award winning movie Moonstruck (1987). After "It Must Be Him" came a string of hits including "With Pen In Hand", for which she received her fourth Grammy Award nomination, "The Lesson", "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You", "For Once in My Life" and "Eternity".

In the States, Vikki became a darling of the White House, performing regularly at State Dinners and at President Richard Nixon's 1973 Inaugural celebration. President Gerald Ford called her his "favorite Mexican dish". She also performed for Presidents' Ronald Reagan, George Bush and at the 1992 Presidential Summit hosted by President Bill Clinton. A frequent guest-star on major network variety shows, including Dean Martin, Ed Sullivan, Perry Como, Jimmy Dean and Carol Burnett, Vikki also taped six specials for London Weekend TV. Vikki was the first female to regularly guest host for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962). She was also a visitor and guest host on Michael Jackson's ABC radio show.

Vikki made her acting debut on The Bing Crosby Show (1964). She has had several guest roles in numerous television series ranging from Mod Squad (1968) to Fantasy Island (1977), and has co-hosted the nationally syndicated Mrs. America and Mrs. Woman of the World Pageants. Carr also made two guest appearances on the popular series Baywatch (1989) and, most recently, in the motion picture Puerto Vallarta Squeeze (2004). Vikki's music has been featured in movies such as The Silencers (1966), Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002), Walt Disney's "Oliver & Company" in Spanish, HBO thriller "Mrs. Harris" and, recently, in John Turturro's Romance & Cigarettes (2005).

The critics praised Vikki for her stage performances in "South Pacific" at the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City and in "The Unsinkable Molly Brown", with the John Kenley Players in Ohio. In 1983, her starring performance in "I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road" broke house records at the Westport Playhouse in St. Louis. Columbia Records signed Vikki Carr in 1970, releasing such favorites as "Love Story", "Live at the Greek" and "One Hell of a Woman", and "Ms. America", which was so ahead of its time.

Proud of her Mexican heritage, Vikki Carr has always shared her birth name with her concert audiences and held a deep desire to one day record an album in Spanish. In 1972, she went to the head of Columbia Records for permission to do so and, while her request was initially met with resistance, Carr had a solution to every argument. "My Anglo audience has asked me to do this", she responded firmly. Several months later, she released her first Spanish language album, "Vikki Carr En Espanol". Somos Novios, Grande, Grande Grande and Se Acabo became momentous successes and Vikki was established as one of the most popular and loved recording artists in the Latin World.

Since making her first personal appearance in Mexico in 1972, the country has had a love affair with Vikki Carr. She is the first non-National named Mexico's "Visiting Entertainer of the Year". Playing nightly to standing ovations and appearing on numerous TV programs, her two-hour special broke ratings records, attracting more than half of the viewers in Mexico. In 1980, because of the enormous success of her first Spanish language album, Columbia Records in Mexico offered her a contract and beginning with Vikki Carr y El Amor, her triumphs were unbridled, especially in Latin America. Songs like Total, Disculpame, Esos Hombres, Mala Suerte earned her Gold and Platinum albums in the United States, Mexico, Chile, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Colombia and Ecuador. Carr followed with Grammy Award nominees Simplemente Mujer in 1986, Cosas del Amor in 1992, Brindo a la Vida, al Bolero y a Ti in 1993, Recuerdo a Javier Solis in 1995, and Emociones in 1997 taking three of the five awards. In 2008, Vikki Carr was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Grammy from the Latin Recording Academy. She marked the occasion with an appearance on the Latin Grammy telecast in which she performed "Cosas del Amor" with Olga Tangan and Jenni Rivera.

She has received prestigious awards, which include the 2005 National Hispanic Media Coalition Impact Lifetime Achievement Award, 2003 Latino Spirit Award, 2003 Tito Guizar Award, 2002 Trefoil Award, 2000 Inductee, Latino Legends Hall of Fame, 1998 Imagen Foundation "Humanitarian Award", 1996 Hispanic Heritage Award, 1988 Nosotros Golden Eagle Award, 1984 Hispanic Woman of the Year, 1981 Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, 1974 Doctorate in Law from San Diego University and Doctorate in Fine Arts from St. Edwards University, 1972 American Guild of Variety Artist's "Entertainer of the Year", and the Los Angeles Times' highly respected "Woman of the Year" for 1970.

She earned the career achievement award of the Association of Hispanic Critics, Chicago's Ovation Award, the YWCA Silver Achievement Award and was honored in 1990 by the City of Hope with the Founder of Hope Award. In 1991, she was presented the Girl Scouts of America Award.

Respected as both an artist and a humanitarian, she devotes time to many charities including The United Way, The American Lung Association, Cancer Therapy and Research Center, The Muscular Dystrophy Association and St Jude's Hospital. For 22 years, she held benefit concerts to support Holy Cross High School in San Antonio. In 1971, Vikki established the Vikki Carr Scholarship Foundation, dedicated to offering college scholarships to Latino students in California and Texas. To date, the Foundation has awarded more than 280 scholarships totaling over a quarter of a million dollars.

Juggling engagements, recording sessions, charity events and family, the pace is frantic, but she remains calm. Smart, successful, warm and engaging, Vikki Carr's energy and style are as radiant and irresistible as her extraordinary voice.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Vito Cifaldi III

Spouse (2)

Pedro De Leon (5 June 1993 - present)
Dann Moss (9 March 1966 - 15 November 1974) (divorced)

Trivia (8)

Winner of three Grammys.
Is of Mexican descent.
One of a rare breed of singers who can cry on demand during a performance.
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6385 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
Received a doctorate in Law from San Diego University in 1974.
Awarded Doctorate in Fine Arts from St. Edwards University in 1974.
In 1970 chosen by the Los Angeles Times as their "Woman of the Year.".
On December 26, 1969, Vikki Carr was selected one of the "Ten Best Coiffure Women in the World" by the Helene Curtis Guild of Professional Beauticians.

Personal Quotes (1)

I should make a little YouTube video of me singing with just a piano, and maybe it will get out to the world. That's the way it works now. Some young person will see it and say, 'Who is this Vikki Carr? She's really good!' [The Arizona Republic, Dec. 10, 2012]

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