Yolandita Monge has shined as a singer, actress, dancer and complete entertainer for over 30 years…from her native Puerto Rico, to the United States, Latin America and Europe. Yolandita Monge Betancourt was born on September 16, 1955 in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. Around that time her parents Hector Monge and Delia Betancourt had been living in New York City but both decided to return to the island for Yolandita’s birth. 14 days after her birth the family and the future star returned to the city of skyscrapers. Yolandita spent only 7 years in New York with her family and older brother Hector, after that they returned to Puerto Rico. The main reason for their return was that they had been living in an apartment and besides that the situation in New York had not been very good to bring small kids up. About her childhood Yolly says:”I was different than my brother. He was always calm. Me, no, I was the one that was breaking everything, the one that was destroying the dolls in order to see what was inside them” When Yolandita’s family returned to the island she started studying with nuns in Colegio Santa Cruz in Trujillo Alto. She had difficulties with the language and eventually was transfered to Trujillo’s public school. Yolandita talks about herself: “I was not a girl that had many boyfriends, I did not go out a lot” . Yolandita took after her Father, she is silent and observes everything. She doesn’t like parties much and prefers to read a good book, watch TV and stay home with her husband and children. She is a very spiritual human being too. Yolandita confessed that she wanted to study medicine but later realized that she wished to sing instead. While she had attending the nun’s college she always sung in the Christmas program. Around this time a well known Trujillo Alto man named Antonio, but known as Don Tuto, noticed the little girl’s prodigious voice and brought the talented girl to the radio show of Don Rafael Quinonez Vidal. Her talents where inmediately recognized and that year she was awarded in the show with the best ‘Danza’ singer recognition. She eventually went to sing in Mr. Quinonez Vidal’s TV show “Tribuna del Arte” and also in the very popular “Los Alegres Tres”. She became known as the “Puerto Rican Judy Garland” for her powerful voice and stage presence at such a tender age (10 years old!). She appreared on the same stage with legendary singer Libertad Lamarque. Then Julio Ernesto Alers noticed her voice and took her to Enrique Mendez who helped her record her first album when she was twelve. She became a regular in important shows of the time: ‘Luis Vigoreaux Presenta’, Alfred D. Herger shows and she got her own TV show “Las Cosas de la Nena” produced by Tommy Muniz. Meanwhile her first album had several hits: “El Resfriado”, “Mi Juramento”, “Las Olas” and the unforgetable “Vida”. The little girl was a true artist on her way to a wonderful life and career…
YOLANDITA IN THE 1970s:
During this decade Yolandita matured as an artist and as a performer. She recorded many successful LPs with unforgetable hits like “No Vale Nada”, “Recuerdame”, “La Voz del Silencio”, “Siempre Fuimos Compan~eros”, “Por Que Papa?”, “Amor Vuelve Otra Vez”, “Dejare la Llave” and “La Musica”. She even shared the stage with legendary singer Libertad Lamarque. She lived and worked in Mexico ; and also brought her show to New York City (going back to her old neighborhood). Everyone wanted to see the young beautiful and talented Puertorrican singer. But the song that took her all over North and South America ,from the United States to Argentina, was “Cierra los Ojos y Juntos Recordemos” in 1975. She finally had her first megahit! It was around this time the she met Alfredo Lorenzo in New York. They married on November 13th,1975…but the marriage had problems from the start. Yolandita later found out his problem with alcohol. She said: “I tried to help him in any way but I was not able to do anything. They had a daughter, Noelia, but the marriage lasted less than 5 years. Each othe went their separate ways and he even didn’t make much contact, not even with his daughter. For Noelia, Alfredo is like a stranger. This didn’t stop Yolly to florish as a strong latin singer, and she had more hits like: “Paginas del Alma”, “Amor Mio”, “Por Que Diste Vuelta la Cara”, “Alguien A Quien se Amo de Mas”, “Adios, Amor, Adios”, “No Soy Lisa”, “Vete de Aqui”. At the end of the decade she also started to feel the acting bug…we had not seen anything yet!
YOLANDITA IN THE 1980s:
The world famous Carnegie Hall in New York is one of the stages Yolandita conquers at the beginning of the decade. With her beautiful voice, her passion and professionalism, new discovered talents like acting, dancing, writing her own songs…the 1980s are going to be playground for Yolandita…she is going to become an ikon, a superstar, a fashion setter and by the end of the decade: the highest seller of music records in Puerto Rico and the United States latin market (certified by Billboard magazine). Sony Records signs her to an international contract starting with her album “Fantasia” and after that all her albums produce multihits. Around that time she had a brief but well publicized romance with writer Anthony Rios, but my 1983 her personal life will have another important turn. She went to Buga, Colombia to represent Puerto Rico in the International Song Festival, she had written a strong song “Si” . Backstage at the Festiva she met a venezuelan singer also particitatin Balbino Gonzalez, they felt in love fast. Yolandita won the Festival and before returning to Puerto Rico both spent some time vacationing in Colombia. They later married in Caracas, Venezuela. And their beautiful daughter Paola was born a little later. Balbino also became like a father to Noelia during that time. They had happy relationship but the separations due to each other careers ended the marriage later. Still today Yolandita is much loved and remembered in Colombia and Venezuela! Yolandita was playing in radio every day and many hits came like: “Tanto Amor”, “Como Lo Hago Yo”, “Perdoname Otra Vez”, “Sola”, “Aceptame Como Soy” y “La Distacia” but it was her LP “Luz de Luna” in 1985 and its song “El Amor” de Rafael Perez Botija that made Yolandita a SUPERSTAR. She had her first concert in the reknown Centro de Bellas Artes de San Juan after that she gained thousand more fans…making her albums gain Gold and Platinum status (first one in Puerto Rico to get these recognitions in the 80s). With her next album “Laberinto de Amor” she won a coveted Grammy Award nomination, very hard for a latin performer during those times, she went to the ceremony with a very diferent punkish look. She has changed looks through out her career, and the fans love it! She spent the rest of the decade filling theaters, making excellent music specials for TV and doing some telenovelas too (“Vida”, “Poquita Cosa”,”El Angel del Barrio”, the excellent tour de force in “Escandalo” and her own starring role in “Ave de Paso” ). She finished the decade with her masterpiece “Vivencias”, album that practically every song was a hit…from the boricua rhyths of “Borinquen~a”, the discoteque hit “Por Ti”, the passionate “Acariciame”, the classic “Quitame Ese Hombre del Corazon” and the supreme cortavena “Cuando Termina un Amor” and more… Also around this tim love finally knocks at her door again…
YOLANDITA AND TOPY, FROM THE 90s TO THE PRESENT:
Yolandita had known Topy Mamery through the years but finally the love bug hit these old friends. They got married (twice!) and he became her manager. The 1990s was a very successful decade for Yolandita but most importantly she was finally happy. She had son Imanol and spent lot of time with her husband and children, something she still enjoys today. Her album “Portfolio” went Gold, her video “Fuiste un Suen~o” won the Paoli Award and her show “Cara de Angel” broke all the records when it was presented in Bellas Artes, she had a critical and popular success when she did a very different album “Mi Encuentro” bringing the plena sound to a new level. The Puertorican Senate recognized her important role in the island’s musical history and how her art has touched so many. Then she took one of the lead roles in the telenovela “La Viuda de Blanco” with Osvaldo Rios, and some of her songs were featured in the score, the telenovela has been shown in dozens of countries around the world and legions of new fans have been touched by her art. Her role brings one of the heart rending moments of the telenovela and people wanted to know who is that actress with the voice of an angel. She now has fans in Europe, Israel, South East Asia, and othe places “La Viuda de Blanco” has been a hit…even her song “Tu,tu,tu” is an hymn to many who loved her character Haydee. Also it has been rewarding to see her own daughter Noelia finding success in music.She finally did a great concert album “En Vivo” and just won a Premio Tu Musica for her last record “Sexto Sentido”. Other recognitions: Premios Codazos,Premio Agueybana, Premio Cassandra, varios Premios Cemi, Guiness Book of Records, Estrella en el Boulevard, uno de los “40 de Teve Guia”. Some of her hits this last decade are: “Arriesgare la Piel”,”Todo por Dolor”, “A pesar del Tiempo”, “Te Vine a Buscar”, “Me Dijeron”,”Sobrevivire”, “Sususubir”, “Dime”, “Cantare”, “Vivire sin Ti”, “Mala Sangre” y “Como Puedes” . Her latest goal was to play greek opera diva Maria Callas in the theater piece “Master Class”, she practically transformed herself and achieved what she wanted…the result has been a critical and artistic success. She has promised to keep singing and acting so who knows what she has in store for all of us…but is Yolandita Monge and is always guaranteed to be first class everything, whatever she does next!!
YOLANDITA IN THE 21st CENTURY:
After the success of her concert “Sexto Sentido” (which got a Dance Show of the Year Award) and the play “Master Class” (in which she burned the stage with her performance, this play was presented in Florida and Puerto Rico), Yolandita starred in the revival of the musical “La Verdadera Historia de Pedro Navaja” playing Diana La Maromera. Yolandita got excellent reviews playing this legendary strong character and she was very happy to be part of the ensemble cast which included Gilberto Santa Rosa and Giselle. “The True Story of Pedro Navaja” became a huge success!! Another exciting project followed: her own television series titled “De Mujeres” (“Of Women”). It was a variety show with interviews, music, informative subjects and comedy. Yolandita used her many talents to make it a different type of TV experience and her duets (bohemias) with many puertorrican and international stars were unforgetable, they were unique musical capsules! She also proved to be an excellent comedian. After months enjoying this TV opportunity she went back to the recording studio and also filmed the movie “Mujeres sin Hombres” (“Women Without Men”) with Claribel Medina and Sully Díaz. The critics loved Yolandita’s performance in this movie which was quite successful. Her single “Siempre” for Ole Music was released and she was back in music radio (it even became a big hit in Panamá). She also recorded two songs for the Christmas album “En Plena Navidad”. She collected awards and special recognitions in Florida as well as New York. The music album which brought her big success was “Demasiado Fuerte” in 2007. It topped the Billboard music charts and became the #1 Pop Latin Album in the United States and Puerto Rico. She had several hits from this CD and some were remixed as reggeaton, urban and bachata rhythms. Yolandita’s unforgetable series of concerts in December 2007 had the best reviews of her career and once again she was next to her fans and public who have enjoyed her live performances through out the years. It was the best way to end a great professional year. She started 2008 with nominations for the Billboard Awards, GLAAD Awards and the Special Tu Mundo Award. By the end of the year her follow up album “Mala” was released with catchy title song and an edgy album cover. It debuted #2 in the Billboard Latin Pop Chart and it became a Gold record just like her previous albums this decade. She continues topping the radio charts with her songs “Y Todavía”, “Demasiado Fuerte”, “Amnesia”, “Mala”, “Una Y Otra Vez” and her duet with Tito ‘El Bambino’ titled “El Amor”. Also continues her live shows including the unforgetable concert at the Fiesta Theater in Dominican Republic in 2009 which brought praise from the press and pure love from her fans. The 21st century has embraced Yolandita Monge’s talents, passions and personality…
YOLANDITA 2009- 2014:
Yolandita ends 2009 with an energetic and successful concert titled “Yolandita en Vivo” at the Hard Rock Café in Santo Domingo, the occasion is celebrated with the sale of Yolandita’s 12 months color wall calendars, Yolandita en Vivo T shirts and concert pins. A feast for her fans! Also Billboard announces that her song “Mala” is one of the top 100 songs of the year. The following year, 2010, is highlighted by two events: Yolly’s return to acting and her first concert at the huge Coliseum of Puerto Rico. Early in 2010 news broke that Yolandita was going to sing the theme song for the new dramatic series “Extremos”, her song “Como Lluvia de los Cielos” started to play on the radio and made everyone think this was the song for the the TV show but instead her song “Seria Lamentable” was selected. Yolandita Monge and Pedro Juan Figueroa were the stars of the first episode “Gotas de Sangre”, very dramatic story where Yolandita played twins. It was also the reunion of Yolandita and Pedro Juan who starred as husband and wife in the novela “Escandalo” back in 1986. She will continue doing appearances on television singing as well as showing other facets of her talent: she becomes the juror in “Puerto Rico Idol TV” show season 2 (Fall 2012) joining Topy Mamery and Ricardo Montaner in the talent show scouting new young singing talent. Yolandita also showed her dancing talent when she took part of the international show “Mira Quien Baila”, Fall 2013 edition. She showed stamina, soul and grace through a variety of dance styles including tango, paso doble, disco and merengue. Her fans were quite invested and supported her through out the competition. Also 2010 brought Yolandita for the first time to the Coliseo de Puerto Rico with her megashow “20 Años de Vivencias” which was a critical and popular success. Singing and dancing she celebrated the previous 20 years of her career. She brought this show also to Dominican Republic. 2011 became one of the busiest years in Yolandita’s career alternating between acting projects in theater, returning to comedy, doing concerts in the United States, writing songs for her follow up album and fulfilling one of her dreams: to sing with a Philarmonic orchestra. As an actress she returned to the stage, first in Miami with “Los Monologos de la Vagina” and later in the year in Puerto Rico she shined as a comedian as part of the ensemble of the political satire “Rayos y Centellas”, which was presented in several theaters all the way to 2012. Another surprise move in 2011 were the series of concerts she did with Anthony Rios, which started at the New York’s United Palace theater and continued in other venues in the Caribbean. The fans loved to see them together on stage specially since they were romantically linked together back in the 1980s. They recorded a duet “Oportunidad Perdida” that played also on radio. These shows became another hit for Yolandita. Another completely different concert was presented exclusively at the Santurce Bellas Artes theater in Puerto Rico on April 8th 2011, when as part of the venues anniversary, Yolandita was invited to do a full two hour show with the island’s reknown Symphony Orchestra. This event brought her and her hits to another level, surrounded by the philharmonic sounds of violas, violins, piano and other instruments, it was an unforgetable celebration to the artist who has the record of more music live shows at Bellas Artes. After her successful concerts with Anthony Rios Yolandita shared the stage once more, she started 2012 with a show with Lourdes Robles. The public loved this duo also! (she will also do a concert with Danny Rivera in 2013). She continues bringing her music to fans and made a stop in a Miami concert hall, where she was received with open arms and standing ovation, before the debut of her new single “Veras Dolor” was played on radio. It was a song written by Yolandita and on November 2012 her album “Mas Para Dar” makes it debut. Billboard magazine announces this record is the number one pop latin CD in the United States and the #1 album in Puerto Rico. And it is also a historical album in Yolandita’s career because all the songs were written by her in collaboration with Jose Luis Pagan including the strong “Y Aqui Me Ves De Pie”, the catchy “Ahora Vivo Sin Tu Amor” and the dance tune “Vivo Por Ti”. In 2013 she brings her show to Orlando Florida and returns to the Coliseo de Puerto Rico for another successful concert titled “Mas Para Dar”. 2013 also is the beginning of Yolandita in social media and in the fall of that she is certified as a twitter trend. She gets her own social media accounts to keep her family, friends and fans informed as well as a tool to fight for social issues which are close to her heart and support her fellow show business collegues . In 2014 she was the main event at the broadcast of WAPA-TV Anniversary event. Yolandita continues to be her own woman, a brilliant artist and over everything a family oriented individual.
More about Yolly:
Photos from her childhood
This picture has got its own history! It was made at a wedding and when the photographer bent over in order to find the the best place to take a picture of her,she had done the same thing thinking it was the one way to look fine!
Photos of her kids
Imanol And His Father
What have the critics spoken?
`She is the greatest performer that I may have ever seen….and I have seen many`
`She is the best…any way you look at her`
`To me,there is no other better than her,Yolandita just simply is the best there is`
`She is prodigious…what a voice!What a style!Such proffesionalism at such teneder age.This girl does really have a tremendous future`
Esteban S. Ramallo
`…Boy,what a lovely voice this girl has;and she is so different!I really like her`
See Yolandita's autograph
It says `Carinos de Yolandita Monge`
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