Only a few people in show business are recognized by just one name. Only a few people bring a smile to everyone’s face when that name is mentioned. Only a few deserve to be called “multi-talented.” Charo is one of those few.
She's one of the few who deserve to be called a Master Performer. Since the '70s, Charo, the musician, singer, comedienne, stage and screen performer, has been an integral proponent of contemporary Latin music. The spotlight on Charo has been shining brighter than ever since her acceptance of the Female Pop Album of the Year Award. She received this accolade at the Billboard International Latin Music Conference for her flamenco inspired platinum album, Guitar Passion.
Charo is a household name. Instantly recognizable for her witty humor, loveable accent and her mastery of the flamenco guitar, it is Charos trademark expression: Cuchi-Cuchi, which has endeared her to the world and made the name Charo synonymous with fun and excitement. Charo has appeared in countless hit television shows, including more than forty-five appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and appeared on The Love Boat more than any other star. She also guest-starred on Sonny and Cher, The Carol Burnett Show, and numerous appearances with Bob Hope and Sammy Davis, Jr. She's also been a regular on Hollywood Squares and VH1's The Surreal Life. Charo's also appeared in the films Moon Over Parador with Richard Dreyfuss and The Concorde: Airport 79.
Currently, Charo is performing in her new show, Charo in Concert: A Musical Sensation, at the Riviera Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas to sold-out audiences. She is also busy promoting her CD Charo and Guitar, a highly anticipated mixture of her patented rhythms and mastery of classical guitar. Charo and Guitar is a combination of the most exciting and original music of today and the most famous classical masterpieces in the world. Charo performs brilliantly and passionately on these powerful tracks, blending heart and soul with her unique Flamenco style. This album breaks new ground by featuring and combining new-age Flamenco Pop with some of the greatest classical masterpieces ever written, and has become an international success with all audiences.
Across the world, Charo is back on the Billboard charts with her latest single dance club hit – "España Cañí", the traditional bullfighting song. Charo teamed up with top-name DJs and producers from around the world, who added their own dance mixes to her virtuoso guitar performance and ended up with whats become a huge hit at dance clubs around the world and earned Charo a 2009 World Dance Music Award Nomination.
Charo also teamed up with World of Wonder to produce the video, entitled España Cañí: Dance, Don't Bullfight. The video is Charo's protest against bullfighting, which is still practiced in many cities across Spain and Latin America. Charo, like Pamela Anderson, Paul McCartney and Pink, is a member of PETA who speaks out against animal cruelty.
Charo is short for Rosario, her given name of Maria Rosario Pilar Martinez Molina Baeza. Born in the town of Murcia, Spain, Charo learned to play the guitar at an early age and studied under the world-famous master of Flamenco guitar, Andrés Segovia. Becoming a recording artist in her early teens, Charo appeared in the Spanish film classic Don Juan Tenorio and was featured in a children's television show that brought her to the attention of famed Latin bandleader Xavier Cugat. Charo joined Cugat's band and traveled to Las Vegas where the band played in all the major casinos, including Caesars Palace, The Flamingo and The Tropicana.
Soon, Charo began performing as a solo artist at the Congo Room at the Sahara Hotel and Casino, sharing the stage with the likes of Johnny Carson, Joey Bishop, Danny Thomas, Buddy Hackett, Jim Nabors and George Burns. During this time, she recorded her hit disco albums, La Salsa and Flamenco Salsa on Capitol Records. The single "Cuchi-Cuchi" went platinum and became a hit in nightclubs world-wide. Her follow-up album, Ole-Ole on Salsoul Records contained the single "Stay With Me" and became an international hit, achieving gold status.
With the introduction of her international hit "Dance a Little Bit Closer", Charo created and established a new bilingual salsa style: The Charo Rhythm, which has been emulated by other performers. In 2003, Charo received a Screen Actors Guild Award for creating the Latin Style.
In 1985, Charo and her husband, Swedish businessman, Kjell Rasten, visited Hawaii and fell in love with the islands. Soon after, Charo relocated her family to Hawaii in order that her 6-year old son could lead a normal life. "I wanted our son to grow up in a healthy and beautiful environment," Charo says. "I just closed my eyes to some good offers in show business. I love show business but my family is my priority."
While in Hawaii, Charo exclusively produced and starred in the variety show Tropical Heat at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort in Waikiki and for ten years, it was the most successful show in Hawaii. It was during this time that Charo began preparing her critically-acclaimed album Guitar Passion, which Billboard Magazine called a fine flamenco-rooted album that spotlights her fluid finger play. Guitar Passion was named Female Pop Album of the Year at the Billboard International Latin Music Conference and reached platinum status worldwide.
Following the success of Guitar Passion, Charo released Gusto in 1997, a dance album which includes the hits, "Give Me Cuchi" and her remake of "Besame Mucho". After her son's high school graduation, Charo returned to mainstream show production and headed for Las Vegas. In 2001, Charo headlined and produced Bravo, at The Venetial Hotel & Casino; it was one of the hottest shows on the Strip and was named Best Variety Show in Las Vegas By Time Magazine. Bravo ran for two years chalking up rave reviews and the near mythical achievement of TWO standing ovations per night.
Charo had returned to Vegas triumphantly with what many critics hailed as the best show of her career.
- Twice voted “Best Classical Flamenco Guitarist in the World” – Guitar Player Magazine
- Vice President of Muscular Dystrophy Association
- Winner of a Billboard International Latin Music Award
- Winner of Screen Actors Guild Award
- Winner of the prestigious Golden Eagle Award for Outstanding Entertainment of the Year
- Received the Key to the City of Las Vegas by Oscar Goodman (03/14/04)
- Honored with the “Charo Week Proclamation” from the City of San Francisco (08/02/05)