Mercedes Sosa (born 9 July 1935) is an Argentine singer immensely popular throughout Latin America. With her roots in Argentinian folk music, she became one of the preeminent exponents of nueva canciÃ³n. Sosa is greatly admired for the depth and beauty of her contralto voice. She is nicknamed "La Negra" by her fans for her long, jet-black hair.
Sosa was born in TucumÃ¡n, a northwestern province of Argentina, of mestizo descent from French and Amerindian (Quechuan) ancestry. In 1950, at age fifteen, she won a singing competition organized by a local radio station and was given a contract to perform for two months.
Sosa and her first husband, Manuel Oscar Matus, with whom she has one son, were key players in the mid-60s nueva canciÃ³n movement (which was called nuevo cancionero in Argentina). Her first record was Canciones con Fundamento, a collection of Argentine folk songs.
In 1967, Sosa toured with great success the United States and Europe. In subsequent years, she performed and recorded extensively, broadening her repertoire to include material from throughout Latin America.