Cardi B Sings A Camilo Sesto Song Reminding Us His Legendary Music Transcends Generations And Genres
Cardi B took to social media to do a brief musical tribute to the late Spanish artist Camilo Sesto on Monday. The singer and songwriter, who has been a beloved musical staple in the Spanish-speaking world since the 1970s, passed away this weekend.
Born Camilo Blanes Cortés in Alcoy, Spain, Sesto has sold over 180 million records worldwide over the span of his 40-year career. Known for his romantic rock ballads, Sesto succumbed to heart failure on Sunday. He was 72 years old. Celebrities and fans alike mourned the loss of the artist on social media. However, it was Cardi’s tribute that left a few baffled.
Cardi B pays homage to Camilo Sesto.
The “Money” rapper took to her Instagram stories to share a selfie video of herself lip-syncing to Sesto’s song “Jamas.” While Cardi is of Dominican heritage, it is not uncommon for there to be cultural diffusion in the Spanish-speaking world. Our tíos and tías make sure of it.
However, Sesto recorded songs in multiple languages including English, Catalan, Italian, German, Japanese, and Portuguese. So you shouldn’t be too surprised to hear anyone referencing his music. The man had global appeal if there was ever a word for it.
A Latin legend passes away at 72 years old.
“Queridos amigos & amigas. Lamentamos mucho comunicaros que nuestro gran y querido artista Camilo Sesto nos acaba de dejar. Descanse en paz,” Sesto’s management announced on Twitter.
Translation: “Our dear friends, we are very sorry to inform you that our great and dear artist Camilo Sesto has just left us. Rest In Peace.”
Sesto’s manager, Eduardo Guervós, confirmed the artist’s death to Spanish public broadcaster TVE. Sesto died in a Madrid hospital after experiencing two heart attacks. The death came as a shock to fans as the 72-year-old was just 8 days away from his next birthday, had an album set for release this week, and planned to embark on a tour in the United States this October.
In 2003, Sesto survived a liver transplant and stunned fans with his comeback album Alma. In 2011, he was awarded the “Highest Hispanic Pride” medal in Las Vegas in which the day was declared Camilo Sesto’s Day in Nevada.
A 40-year legacy left behind.
Sesto came to prominence in the 1970s and has been prolific ever since. The singer-songwriter has released 20 albums, written songs for prominent artists such as Ángela Carrasco, Miguel Bosé, Lucía Méndez, Charytín Goyco and José José. A pioneer in Spanish-language rock ballads, his music would even influence rock icons such as The Beatles.
His hits included the songs Algo de mí,” ”Perdóname,” and “Melina.” Sesto was also an actor who starred in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Spanish version of the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar.
Fans had a mixed reaction to Cardi’s homage.
“Cardi B singing Camilo Sesto songs on IG stories – she’s just a Latina mom like the rest of our moms haha,” one user wrote.
Other fans were baffled that Cardi was a fan of the late singer’s, joking that we must live in some kind of simulation or alternate reality.
Translation: “Cardi B listening to Camilo Sesto, we definitely live in a simulation,” another user joked.
“After seeing Cardi B singing songs of Camilo Sesto, the day can only get worse,” another person said.
Cardi wasn’t the only one to honor Sesto’s memory.
“With his genuine voice, as an interpreter and composer, he managed to be one of the most beloved and universal artists. Spain and all Latin America lament the loss of Camilo Sesto,” Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez tweeted about the loss of the legendary artist. “A hug to his family and the world of music. His melodies will always be part of our memory.”
Antonio Banderas joined in those mourning the loss of this mega star.
“From ‘I can no longer’ to the rock opera ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, he [Camilo Sesto] leaves us many emblematic songs that make up the soundtrack of our lives and time can not take that away,” the actor Antonio Banderas tweeted.
He even had a writer for the LA Times commemorate his successes.
“Back in the 80s, the women in my family shed many tears listening to the legendary Camilo Sesto. His music was a love song to all the precious things they left behind in Central America,” wrote Esmeralda Bermudez, a writer for the Los Angeles Times.
Sometimes we underestimate the reach of Spanish-speaking artists. Perhaps, it is how America continues to trap us in a bottle. Not all art may make it into the mainstream cultural zeitgeist of the United States, but that doesn’t mean hundreds of millions of people don’t adore it. Sometimes it’s the massive hole a loss leaves behind that illuminates just how impactful Latin culture is.