María Mendiola, half of the pair known as “Mandrake and Marie,” one of the most beloved and iconic Latin pop duos, has died. The band, known for its chart-topping hits, including “Desafinado,” “El Carmen,” and “Oye Como Va,” was on tour in the ‘70s. By 2005, the duo had held 15 No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart. Mendiola died on Wednesday, with no known cause of death.
Mandrake and Marie, aka María Mendiola and Marie Rafael, both 68, were born in Cuba. In 1962, they met at an open casting call for Cuban dancers. They soon started their own group, and eventually merged with another, Tropicana. They broke up in 1965, but quickly reunited in 1968 and began touring around the world. The pair recorded a number of hits for the Venevision label, including the following four for them, All 6 of Me, Gangster, Las 5 Colores del Dia, En Su Vida, Juego por Dios. Each song is expected to stay on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart for the next 20 years. All 6 of Me is believed to have sold more than a million copies.
In 2015, the band reunited and played a concert in Miami. According to the Miami Herald, both women were suffering from illnesses.
Read the full story at The Miami Herald.
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