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Overview (3)

Born in Seville, Seville, Andalucía, Spain
Birth NameMaría Isabel Pantoja Martín
Nicknames Maribel
La Panto

Mini Bio (1)

Daughter and granddaughter of artists, Isabel Pantoja had a hard childhood because of economic problems in her family. At 7 years old she appeared the very first time on a stage. In 1969 her father got hepatitis and she went to Palma de Mallorca with her grandfather. Soon she was acting with her cousin Antonio Cortés "Chiquetete" and his wife Amparo, earning 500 pesetas a day in the "tablao" (flamenco bar) "El Rombo". After one week she was one of the singers. Some time later, her cousin "Chiquetete" was suggested to record a music album and Isabel participated in it. It was her first recording. When their contract was over, they all went back to Sevilla, and there they were made another contract by Baldomero Negrón at his "tablao" "El Embrujo". In "El Embrujo", Isabel danced and clapped, while her cousin Antonio Cortés (future "Chiquetete") was the singer. She was paid 250 pesetas a day. Baldomero Negrón fell in love with Isabel, and encouraged her to sing. She sang themes from Juanita Reina, Marifé de Triana and Rocío Jurado (her favourite singers). Negrón worked hard to promote Isabel, presenting her to Rafael de León and Juan Solano, among others, to judge her worth. Then she moved to Madrid, where she still had a hard life. She lived with her mother in a modest boarding house. Her father, who felt better, moved from Sevilla and got a contract with "El Corral de la Morería", a prestigious "tablao" where great flamenco stars performed for exclusive clients including Hollywood actors. Juan Pantoja asked Manolo del Rey, owner of "El Corral de la Morería", to help her daughter. Del Rey made her a contract for 500 pesetas a day. As Maribel, she started dancing only, but one day she was asked to sing. Finally, she ended up earning 1,500 pesetas a day. Juan Solano, dazzled by his young pupil, stopped composing for Rocío Jurado to devote all his attention to Isabel. A little while later, her father felt very bad and went back to Sevilla where he died. Isabel was with him until his end. In 1974, she recorded her first album alone, where Juan Solano prepared all the songs for her. The A side started with a song made up of lyrics by Rafael de León and music by Juan Solano, which had had little success with Concha Márquez Piquer: "Fue por tu voz". From Solano and De León were also "Ten compasión de mí" and "Un rojo, rojo clavel" (being the latter a great success with Rocío Jurado). All the following songs were from José Antonio Ochaíta, Xandro Valerio and Juan Solano. On 26 May 1980, Isabel Pantoja was at Jerez de la Frontera, during the local festivities, and after a bullfight she found at the hall of the Hotel Jerez a well-known reporter, Manuel Gallardo, who invited her to go upstairs to congratulate the bullfighter Paquirri. Their meeting was short, but there was a love at first sight. On 30 April 1983 they got married. She spent the summer of 1983 singing all over Spain. In August, being pregnant of 3 months, she announced that she would continue singing only until the autumn, to retire later. The baby was born on 9 February 1984, and he was given the name of Francisco José. The months that followed were full of happiness for the little family. But on 26 September 1984 a tragedy occured. Paquirri, who was in a bullfight in Pozoblanco (Córdoba), was gored by a bull named Avispado and died while he was being moved to the Hospital of Córdoba. It took Isabel more than one year to go back to the stage. During that time she only allowed one interview, on 25 November 1985, where she presented her song "Marinero de luces", composed by José Luis Perales. Her new album was made of songs which reflected her state of mind. Some days later, in December, she presented all the songs during a benefit gala for the "Fundación Reina Sofía" at the theatre Lope de Vega, in Madrid. The kings of Spain Juan Carlos de Borbón and Sofía de Grecia met her in a private audience at the Palacio de la Zarzuela. And from that moment until present day Isabel has got success after success and has become a solid first star. In 1990, the cinematographic production company of the singer Víctor Manuel suggested her to be the main actress in Yo soy ésa (1990), directed by Luis Sanz, discoverer of stars and expert on the Andalusian song. The film was a great success, with more than 1,500,000,000 pesetas at the box office. At the same time, a double album appeared with 20 songs, although not all of the songs appeared in the film. The album was titled "La Canción Española", and the recording was made together with the Royal Philarmonic Orchestra, conducted by Luis Cobos. On the spring of 1991, she was the first star of her second film, _Día que nací yo, El (1991)_ , where there was less singing and more acting for her. Although she has announced plans to retire soon to spend more time with her family, Isabel has continued her triumphant career. Only Rocío Jurado and her have maintained during these recent times the sacred flame of myth and the live legend of the Spanish song.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Miguel Ángel Díaz González <dalton22@terra.es>

Spouse (1)

Paquirri (30 April 1983 - 26 September 1984) ( his death) ( 1 child)

Trivia (9)

Famous spanish song singer.
Born at the number 8 of Juan Díez de Solís Street better known in Seville as "Barriada del Tardón".
Daughter of Juan Pantoja "Chiquetete", songwriter and member of the flamenco group Los Gaditanos and Ana Martín, a flamenco dancer.
Sister of Bernardo Pantoja, Juan Pantoja and Agustín Pantoja.
Cousin of singer Chiquetete.
Mother of Kiko Rivera, born on 9 February 1984, with Paquirri.
Her first appearance on a stage was at the age of 7 during a tribute to Juanito Valderrama and Dolores Abril at the San Fernando Theatre. Appeared alongside her brother Juan and she was given three balloons as a reward.
Her family had economic problems and her mother had to sell fruits and vegetables in a market near her house.
Supports Sevilla FC.

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