Roberto Cantoral: Google doodle to honor Mexican pianist, singer and songwriter on his birthday


Happy birthday, Roberto Cantoral!

Google doodles to celebrate Mexican pianist, guitarist, singer, poet, activist and composer Roberto Cantoral (also known as Roberto Cantoral García). The Doodle, illustrated by guest artist Totoi Semerena.

Roberto Cantoral made the soundtrack to a booming era of romantic Latin pop with beloved ballads such as “El Reloj” (“The Watch”) and “La Barca” (“The Boat”), which have both been recorded over 1,000 times by dozens of musicians including Plácido Domingo and Linda Ronstadt.

Roberto Cantoral Garcia was born on June 7, 1935 in Ciudad Madero, Tamaulipas. From an early age he showed an aptitude for music and its composition. Cantoral moved to Mexico City to attend college, but dropped out to become a conductor. Cantoral resided in Rancho Viejo, Texas, just across the Mexican border. His house, which suffered a fire in 2006 but has been renovated, has a large marble clock in honor of his song, El Reloj, and several statues.

Roberto Antonio Cantoral García launched his career at age 15 when he and his brother Antonio formed the duo “Hermanos Cantoral” (“Cantoral Brothers”). But his music met with mainstream success once he teamed up with Chamin Correa and Leonel Galver to form the aptly named trio “Los Tres Caballeros” (“The Three Gentlemen”).

The trio traveled all over the 1950s, taking their romantic ballads on world tours to countries ranging from Japan to Argentina. In 1960, Cantoral started out on his own. His original solo compositions were performed by some of Mexico’s most distinguished singers, and he continued to share his music with the world into the 2000s, performing at music festivals, radio shows, and television programs in more than 120 countries.

Cantoral was married to Itatí Zucchi and was the father of Mexican actress Itatí Cantoral, co-star of the television series Hasta Que El Dinero Nos Separe de Televisa. Roberto Cantoral had three sons, Carlos, Roberto and José, with Zucchi.

Along with his musical heritage, Cantoral has advocated for the protection of the intellectual property of composers as Honorary President of the Mexican Society of Composers and Authors for over 25 years. In 2009, Cantoral was honored at the 10th Latin Grammy Awards with the Latin Recording Academy Trustees Award to recognize his dedication to music and to the community.

In 2010, Cantoral, 75, died of a heart attack while flying from Brownsville, Texas to Ciudad de México.

Also read: Alifa Rifaat: Google doodle to honor Egyptian feminist author on 91st birthday


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