Chavela Vargas, famed singer and Mexican icon, in serious condition at hospital

Associated Press

CUERNAVACA, Mexico - Doctors of Chavela Vargas say the singer is in serious condition at a hospital in central Mexico.

A medical report released to the media on Wednesday says Vargas has cardiac and renal problems.

It says the 93-year-old singer has been hospitalized for four days at a hospital in the resort city of Cuernavaca.

Born in Costa Rica, Vargas rose to fame by singing lusty "ranchera" songs while wearing men's clothes, carrying a pistol, drinking heavily and smoking cigars.

Vargas recorded 80 albums throughout her career, becoming a major figure in Mexico City's artistic explosion of the mid-20th century. She was a frequent house guest of the Mexican painters Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, and was close to the Spanish writer Federico Garcia Lorca.

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