This was a cover song of Dusty Springfield's "I Only Want To Be With You", but sung in Spanish by Lucecita. That began a series of hits for Lucecita, and at the same time, it began a rivalry between her and fellow New Waver, Peruvian born Puerto Rican resident Lissette, also a musical legend. Benítez's most important career step came in 1969, when she won the Festival de la Cancion Latina (Festival of the Latin Song) in Mexico. She participated with two songs, "Genesis" by G.V. Lloveras and "Energia De Mis Manos", by M. de Jesus.
"Genesis" received the highest points (223) in the festival and Lucecita also won best dressed performer. Pedro Rivera Toledo's arrangement won as best, although the orchestra was conducted by Jose S. Marroquin. The festival was held at the Teatro Ferrocarrilero in Mexico.
Lucecita became an instant hit in Mexico and throughout the Latino music world. She then became ill with asthma and needed to be cared for by then President Lyndon Johnson's personal physician. Lucecita's attire was designed by Puerto Rican dressmaker Martin, who used silk fabric imported from the East. Her most impressive thought the evening she won the festival was when several medical students from Puerto Rico studying in Mexico waved their country's flag after she was announced as winner.
It was such that she had to restart the opening strains to "Genesis" as she became choked up with tears. She was received in Puerto Rico's International Airport after the festival ended with such importance and joy that schools had to be closed that morning while her caravan rode through the streets of San Juan. Her most happiest and ardent fans were the have-nots who congregated at the Luis Llorens Torres housing projects who applauded Lucecita as her caravan drove by. This important event in her career led to her performing with Sammy Davis Jr.
and to an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. RCA signed her immediately, and her career's star rose considerably, touring all over Latin America and in Spain. She also performed for many years at the Club Caribe at Caribe Hilton Hotel hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Lucecita still does world tours and performs live frequently. She has her own recording company, Grabaciones Lobo (Wolf Records).
In 1994, she participated in Banco Popular's dedicatory to Jose Feliciano. At the same time, she also performed at Carnegie Hall, where she recorded a live album to honor the memory of salsa singer Ismael Rivera. Recently, Puerto Rico's government celebrated her 1969 triumph of "Genesis" with a gala celebration. The town of Caguas dedicated a museum of memorabilia in her honor.
Her old friend and fan Roberto Tirado, pictured in the above photo with Lucecita taken at the NYC ACE Awards in 2000, has contributed to this museum with many items personally owned by Lucecita which he saved during her time at the height of her fame. Recently, in 2007, Lucecita was involved in a traffic accident where no one was injured. This happened in San Juan, Puert Rico, after she had left a dinner party. She was cleared of any wrongdoing.
She travels frequently to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she has a huge fan following after her participation in a soap opera singing songs from her excellent album, Exitos Callejeros. Lucecita's biography, co-written by Dr. Angel Opio and Lucecita, will be out soon with many exciting revelations by Lucecita. Dr.
Opio has interviewed fans, photographers, producers, etc., in order to make this book a best seller and an authentic review and historical perspective of Lucecita's musical career. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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