May 11, 2006
Latin singer Soraya succumbs to cancer at 37
By Leila Cobo
MIAMI (Billboard) - Colombian-born singer/songwriter
Soraya, one of the first artists to write and record in both
English and Spanish, has died after a battle with breast
cancer, sources said. She was 37.
Although details were not clear, published reports and
sources say the Latin Grammy winner died Wednesday morning in
Soraya, whose mother, aunt and grandmother died of breast
cancer, was diagnosed with stage three of the disease in June
2000. She successfully underwent treatment, but sources say she
relapsed at the beginning of the year.
A soulful singer whose music ranged from romanticism to
social conscience, Soraya won the first ever Latin Grammy for
best singer/songwriter album with her self-titled 2003 release.
She released her last album in 2005.
Raised in the United States, she launched a promising
career in the late 1990s by mixing Spanish and English. A
charismatic performer, from the onset, she was able to open
concerts for the likes of Sting even as her songs topped the
Billboard Latin Pop airplay charts. Soraya went on to become
one of the most acclaimed female voices in Latin pop and rock.
This week, she posted a goodbye letter to fans on her Web
site. "I know there are many questions without answers, and
that hope doesn't leave with me, and above all, that my mission
does not end with my physical story," she wrote.
A public memorial service will take place at 6:30 p.m. EST
on Friday at Unity on the Bay in Miami. Donations may be made
in Soraya's name to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer