During more than five decades of performing, the vocal innovations of Miguelito Valdés made him one of Latin music's most popular artists.
Havana-born (September 6, 1910) Valdés started singing in 1927 with a few amateur groups, then decided music was his career while in Panama during the early '30s. In June 1937, Valdés was the vocalist for the corporation Casino de la Playa Orchestra, which was among Cuba's five most popular orchestras.
He left Cuba for New York City in April 1940, and joined the Xavier Cugat band at the Waldorf Astoria hotel. The spot earned him a lot of fame, enough so that he could start his solo career in 1942. He recorded for several labels, was seen in 12 movie cameo roles, and went into semi-retirement in 1955. He came back in 1963, and hosted a television show for ten years.
In 1978, Miguelito Valdes died on stage of a heart attack in Bogota, Columbia.