The Spanish winner of the 1968 Eurovision Song Contest, Massiel was born María de los Ángeles Santamaría Espinosa on August 2, 1947, and went on to become one of the most popular singing stars both at home and across Latin America. Elsewhere, however, she is best remembered for the song that beat out that year's runaway favorite, Cliff Richards' "Congratulations." She has, in fact, enjoyed something of a stop-start career, originally retiring from show business in the mid-'70s following the birth of her first son, Aitor. Her return in 1981, however, prompted a massive boom in Mexican music, as she recorded the works of songwriters José María Napoleón and Juan Gabriel on her album Tiemos Dificiles. Her next album, Corazon de Hierro, was an even bigger hit, and spawned the international hit "Brindaremos por El." Massiel announced her second retirement in the mid-'90s, although she remained active for at least a couple more years. The year 1997 brought both a hip-hop re-recording of her Eurovision victor "La La La" and a Spanish-language tribute to the music of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, Baladas y Canciones de Bertolt Brecht, while 1998 saw her both star in and record the soundtrack to the movie Cantando a la Vida, the story of a Eurovision Song Contest winner who mysteriously disappears. Massiel herself would reappear on stage in 2007, as one of the judges for that year's Spanish entry to Eurovision. Although she was not participating in the competition itself, she agreed to perform one of the entries, "Busco un Hombre."
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