Cecilia (her stage name) was born in Madrid to parents who were diplomats as Evangelina Sobredo Galanes. She died in a car accident at the age of 27 years and 296 days. Her death at 27 in 1976 puts her in the era of the original classic forever 27 club members, but since she was not an American and sang mostly in Spanish, her career and passing went largely unnoticed in the US and in English speaking countries. However, her style and approach to music reflected her heroes at the time and she fits into the genre of singer-songwriter very well despite her Spanish origins.
As the only daughter in a diplomatic household, she grew up while experiencing life in several different countries including the US, the UK, Spain, Portugal and Jordan. She was actually brought up by an American nun who served the family as a nanny, and undoubtedly had some influence on her liberal attitudes and forward-looking beliefs. She saw herself as a protest singer, and was politically active in Franco’s Spain. As an activist and popular personality, she drew the attention of censors and many times had to alter lyrics and other materials to get her music out to the public. She was known for a very delicate and childlike voice, while expressing her views on feminism and politics in her original songs and music.
Besides naming herself after the Simon and Garfunkel song, Cecilia admired the work of the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Paul Simon, and other famous singer-songwriters of the 60s and 70s. During her short life she released several singles and 4 full-length LPS, and there are reports of much unpublished recorded material still in the vaults. She performed not only in Spain but in South America, and was planning to expand into the US when her life ended tragically. She and a band member were returning from a concert in Spain in the early morning hours when a collision with another vehicle killed her instantly, as well as her musician friend.
Cecilia’s legacy, in addition to her existent recordings, is as a pioneer in the protest movement of the 70s in a conflicted country. Spain was experiencing unrest and social upheaval during this time, as was much of the modern world. She saw herself as a force for positive change and dedicated her talents and energies to advancing liberal cause. She was an original composer, singer, and activist who set an example for generations of young Spaniards to come, and her music has been much appreciated by subsequent generations. Many of her songs have been covered and become hits in recent years. Her death at 27 was, like all of the famous members’ endings, sudden and sad.
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