Suffering from recurrent endocrine and respiratory problems in later years, the 74-year-old Sosa was hospitalized in Buenos Aires on September 18, 2009. She died from an aggravation of her preexisting kidney disease on October 4, 2009, at 5:15 am. She is survived by one son, Fabian Matus, born during the first marriage. He said: “She lived her 74 years to the fullest. She had done practically everything she wanted, she didn’t have any type of barrier or any type of fear that limited her”. The hospital expressed its sympathies with her relations.Her website featured the following: “Her undisputed talent, her honesty and her profound convictions leave a great legacy to future generations”.
Her body was placed on display at the National Congress building in Buenos Aires for the public to pay their respects, and President Kirchner ordered three days of national mourning. Thousands had queued by the end of the day. She will be cremated on October 5.
Mercedes Sosa, known as La Negra, (July 9, 1935 – October 4, 2009) was an Argentine singer who was and remains immensely popular throughout Latin America and internationally. With her roots in Argentine folk music, Sosa became one of the preeminent exponents of nueva canción. She gave voice to songs written by both Brazilians and Cubans. She was best known as the “voice of the voiceless ones”.
Sosa performed in venues such as the Lincoln Center in New York City, the Théâtre Mogador in Paris and the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, as well as sell-out shows in New York’s Carnegie Hall and the Roman Coliseum during her final decade of life. Her career spanned four decades and she has been the recipient of several Grammy awards and nominations, including three nominations which will be decided posthumously. She served as an ambassador for UNICEF.