Roberto Cantoral: Google doodle to honor Mexican pianist, singer & composer 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 soundtracked a booming era of romantic Latin pop with beloved ballads such as "El Reloj" ("The Watch") and "La Barca" ("The Boat"), both of which have been recorded over 1,000 times by dozens of musicians such as Plácido Domingo and Linda Ronstadt.
Roberto Cantoral Garcia was born on 7 June 1935 in Ciudad Madero, Tamaulipas. From an early age, he showed an ability for music and its composition. Cantoral moved to Mexico City to attend college but dropped out to become a bandleader. Cantoral resided in Rancho Viejo, Texas, just across the border from Mexico. His home, which suffered a fire in 2006 but was renovated, features a large marble clock in honor of his song, El Reloj, and several statues.
Roberto Antonio Cantoral García launched his career at 15 when he and his brother Antonio formed the duet "Hermanos Cantoral" ("Cantoral Brothers"). But his music found mainstream success once he banded together with Chamin Correa and Leonel Galver to form the trio aptly-named "Los Tres Caballeros" ("The Three Gentlemen").
The trio traveled far and wide throughout the 50s, taking their romantic ballads on worldwide tours in countries ranging from Japan to Argentina. In 1960, Cantoral broke 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 TV programs in over 120 countries.
Cantoral was married to Itatí Zucchi and was the father of Mexican actress Itatí Cantoral, the co-star of the Televisa television series Hasta Que El Dinero Nos Separe. Roberto Cantoral had three sons, Carlos, Roberto and José, with Zucchi.
Along with his musical legacy, Cantoral advocated for protecting composers' intellectual property as an 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 community.
In 2010, 75-year old Cantoral died after suffering a heart attack on a flight from Brownsville, Texas, to Ciudad de México.