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María Dolores Fernández Pradera (Madrid, Spain, August 29, 1924), artistically known as María Dolores Pradera , is a Spanish melodic singer and actress, with a long artistic career that began in 1943 and in which she ended up being the first figure in the theater, where she has worked as an actress and as a singer in live shows. Given the success of his recordings, he made musical tours in several countries and devoted himself entirely to the song since the early 1970s.
She is one of the Spanish interpreters who achieved worldwide fame for spreading Spanish-American popular music, Spanish song and the work of her greatest authors. Due to her personality on the stage, endowed with a serious and forceful voice and elegant gestures, she is popularly known as La Gran Señora de la Canción.
He was born in Madrid and was the third of four brothers. During his childhood he lived in Spain and Chile, where his father, Asturian, had business. His mother Carmen Pradera Fuster (? -9/02/1987), of Basque-French origin, widowed in 1935. In the 1940s he began to work as a film and theater actress, at the same time showing his talent for singing . He appeared in films such as Yo no me caso (1944), by Juan de Orduña; Altar mayor (1944), by Gonzalo Delgrás and in the company of Fernando Fernán Gómez in The inhabitants of the uninhabited house (1946), also by Delgrás, and Vida en sombras (1948), by Lorenzo Llobet Gracia.
With Fernán Gómez he married on August 28, 1945. They separated in 1957 and obtained a divorce as early as the 1980s. They had two sons, Fernando and Helena.
Later he performed in several theaters in Spain, France, Argentina, Germany, United Kingdom, United States and Mexico (country where he develops his career and established for years), representing works by Enrique Jardiel Poncela, José Zorrilla, Federico García Lorca or Edmond Rostand.
As a singer, she was accompanied for thirty years by guitarist brothers Santiago and Julián López Hernández, known as Los Gemelos. He has performed with great sensitivity and international success the songs of composers such as the Mexican José Alfredo Jiménez, the Peruvian Chabuca Granda, the Cuban Miguel Matamoros, the Uruguayan Alfredo Zitarrosa, the Argentinean Atahualpa Yupanqui, the Chilean Violeta Parra and the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca , in addition to many other Latin American authors. His soft voice and perfect diction in different registers -baladas, boleros, coplas, rancheras, fados, etc.-, as well as his great dramatic skills on stage, have turned his versions of La Flor de la Cinnamon, Fina estampa, Limeña o My mother’s rosary, classics of the song, in classics recognized around the world. Precisely his version of El rosario de mi madre, premiered in 1961 by the Peruvian group Los Troveros Criollos, went around the world, giving him great international fame.
His active participation in the artistic world of his country has allowed him to strengthen ties with different personalities, among which are Amparo Rivelles, Lola Flores, Francisco Rabal, Marifé de Triana, Rocío Jurado, Amaya Uranga, Carlos Cano, Joaquín Sabina, Luis Alegre; the Colombian Helenita Vargas, the Mexican Chavela Vargas and Lola Beltrán and the Argentines Alberto Cortez and Mercedes Sosa, among others. She was also the first Spanish to sing at the Royal Albert Hall in London and also performed at the Madison Square Garden in New York.
He returned promptly to the theater in 1985 to perform the play Cándida, by George Bernard Shaw, directed by José Luis Alonso.
He has won numerous Spanish and international awards, both for his theatrical side and his career as a singer, such as the National Theater Award, the Fine Arts Medal, the Lara Award, the Latin Grammy. Among his latest works are various collaborations with Joaquín Sabina or Rosana without forgetting his record tribute to Carlos Cano, Andalusian singer-songwriter with whom he made the Amarraditos tour. In 2006 he published a new album with Los Sabandeños, entitled After the time that reached the Golden Disc.
In 2007 he released a compilation on CD and DVD entitled In good company, which includes his best duets with artists such as Joaquín Sabina, Caetano Veloso, Rosana, Víctor Manuel, Cachao López and Alberto Cortez.
In November 2008 he published “Te canto un bolero” accompanied by Los Sabandeños and selected eleven boleros among the best of the classical repertoire, including songs like Contigo in the distance, How the years have passed (very popular in the voice de Rocío Dúrcal), Green way, In a corner of the soul or I do not know why I love you, among others.
In November 2012, a series of international artists, including Raphael, Joan Manuel Serrat, Joaquin Sabina, Pablo Alborán, Ana Belén, Víctor Manuel, Miguel Bosé, Miguel Poveda, Sergio Dalma, Pasión Vega , Luis Eduardo Aute, Manolo Garcia, Diana Navarro and Diego el Cigala, recorded an album titled Gracias a vosotros, where they pay homage to her in the performance of her greatest hits.
A year later, in 2013, the second volume of the album was published with the collaborations of Bunbury, Ana Torroja, José Mercé, Sole Giménez and Amaia Montero, among others. That same year she was awarded the Ondas de la Música Award for her entire career.
In February 2012, a respiratory condition forced her to suspend some recitals and in May of that year she canceled her musical tour indefinitely, only returning to the stage on June 21, 2013 at a Miguel Poveda concert held in the Plaza de Las Ventas bulls to perform together one of his emblematic songs, Fina estampa.
Contertulia in La noche menos pensada of Radio Nacional de España.
On October 7, 2016, the decoration of the Grand Cross of the Civil Order of Alfonso X el Sabio is granted.
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