Cuban singer Olga Guillot, known as “the queen of bolero”, died Monday in Miami Beach of a heart attack at age 87, according to published reports.

Known for her emotional treatment of the Cuban romantic ballad, accompanied by exaggerated and often sensual gestures, Guillot was a 20-year-old in bobby socks when, in 1944, she recorded a Spanish version of “Stormy Weather” for Havana’s Panart label. At the time, she was a member of the vocal quartet Cuarteto Siboney. But the Spanish version of the song made famous by Lena Horne was a hit, launching Guillot’s solo career in Latin America and beyond. Fourteen of her albums were certified gold and ten were silver. She performed with other leading Latin American artists of her day, and in 1964, she became the first Latin American artist to appear solo at Carnegie Hall.

Some of Guillot’s best known songs are “Mienteme”, “Sabor a mi”, and “Tu me acostumbraste”.

Guillot left Cuba for Venezuela after Fidel Castro came to power. She settled in Miami, where, despite her star status, she maintained a low profile for decades. The city of Miami renamed five blocks of Calle Ocho, a strip in the center of the city’s primary Cuban exile neighborhood, Olga Guillot Way.

In 2007, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Latin Recording Academy.

"I am very visceral, very emotional, very temperamental, that is what Olga Guillot is and what makes me feel that I vibrate with what I do,” she told the Associated Press on that occasion. “I live in love with what I do and every day I thank God because he gave me a voice that so that I could be happy and make other people happy.”

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