24 June 2020 18:37
Sign up to FREE email alerts from Wales Online - daily Subscribe Thank you for subscribing We have more newsletters Show me See our privacy notice Invalid Email The much-loved singer and "legend" Margarita Pracatan has died aged 89. The news was shared on Twitter by close friends of the Cuban star today. She died on Tuesday in New York with the cause of death yet to be revealed, reports The Mirror. The singer was best known for her exuberant and eccentric appearances on The Clive James Show and she became a cult figure and fan favourite with UK audiences. The popular presenter James discovered her cable TV programme in America in 1994 and invited her to the UK for a slot on his hit ITV show.
James once said of her music: "She never lets the words or melody get in her way. She has died just eight months after the Australian broadcaster lost his life to illness. In 2019 she appeared in an episode of Real Housewives of New York City to perform a cover of Money Can't Buy You Class. Video Loading Video Unavailable Click to play Tap to play The video will start in 8 Cancel Play now On June 13, less than two weeks before she died, she shared a video of herself singing to her Twitter account. She looked healthy and happy as she sang popular Mexican song Cielito Lindo.
Margarita captioned the video: "Canta y no llores - be happy! She added the hashtags #joy #loveyourlife #EnjoyingEverydayLife. BBC radio host Matthew Sweet tweeted the news alongside a picture of Margarita today. He wrote: "Sorry to hear of the death of Margarita Pracatan, social media star before social media. Fans of Margarita took to Twitter in their droves to pay tribute. "RIP Margarita. A legend! We had such a fabulous evening at her cabaret show a few years ago!" wrote @danielknight75. "Gutted to hear about the passing of the glorious @ PracatanBaby who I had the pleasure of looking after at @ ManchesterPride 2013, she lived a life full of fun, joy, celebration & love," posted NikCotter_ And summing up how many others felt, billie_r_martin tweeted "Joy has left the building. I'm in pieces." Singer and star of the Clive James Show Margarita Pracatan has died aged 89 in New York. The Cuban, who rose to fame in the mid-90s on the late night chat show, died of heart failure in Manhattan on Tuesday, her daughter Maria Gorshin told Sky News. Known for her flamboyant dresses and hysterical covers of classic hits by Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, Pracatan was fondly remembered by thousands today on social media. Broadcaster Matthew Sweet tweeted: 'Sorry to hear of the death of Margarita Pracatan, social media star before social media. Margarita Pracatan poses backstage at the second annual "Big Gay Out", Europe's biggest Gay music festival, at Finsbury Park on July 23, 2005 in London, England 'We got her live on @BBCRadio3 once, to the faint annoyance of Clive James. 'In 2017 I saw her live in Catford & was delighted to discover she still considered the right notes unnecessary.' Clive James arrives for the 1995 Comedy Awards with Margarita Pracatan Pracatan's cause of death remains unknown. Born in Cuba in 1931 to a school teacher and union leader, Pracatan was one of eight children. The family fled to New York City when Communist revolutionaries took over the country in the 1950s. Pracatan started singing in nightclubs while working in a men's underwear store during the day to make ends meet. She was later discovered by James through her public-access cable TV show broadcast from Manhattan. He invited her to appear on his chat show where she performed alongside major names such as Boy George and Liza Manelli and dished out hilarious banter to James' celebrity guests. In one classic introduction James gave her, he told the audience: 'Now to end the show, and possibly my career, will you once again put your seats in the upright position and your head between your knees for Margarita Pracatan.' He once said of the singer: 'She never lets the words or melody get in her way. She is us, without the fear of failure.' Pracatan was known for her flamboyant dresses and keyboard cover version of timeless classics Pracatan and James had an enduring bond and tweeting after his death in 2017, she'd written: 'Saying goodbye is so shocking. Makes you quiet rewinding the memories. Years and years of that intelligence and the talent and beautiful way of living, always to do excellence. 'Thank you, #CliveJames from the bottom of my heart. You live forever with us. #CliveJamesRIP.' In recent years, Pracatan had continued live performances and appeared on an episode of Real Housewives of New York last year. She was a constant feature at Gay Pride festivals across the world, including in London, Manchester and Sydney. Pracatan had continued bringing joy to many through her Twitter account where she was posting performances from her apartment just two weeks ago. She captioned the June 12 video: 'Be happy! It's good for your heart and your espirit!!' Peter Andre poses backstage with Margarita Pracatan at the second annual "Big Gay Out", Europe's biggest Gay music festival, at Finsbury Park on July 23, 2005 in London She was surrounded by friends when she celebrated her 89th birthday in the Upper West Side last year. BBC presenter Lizo Mzimba tweeted today: 'So sad to see the social media reports saying that Margarita Pracatan has died aged 89. Her performances on the Clive James show were beyond wonderful.' Another fan wrote: 'Very sad to hear about the passing of Margarita Pracatan, a fun-loving singer who loved fame and oozed joy when she appeared on the Clive James show. You'll both be singing up on high now. RIP.' Pracatan, who was divorced, is survived by her daughter.