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BIOGRAPHY

One Saturday, June 29, in the midst of the Cuban dictatorship Cienfuegos - Cuba, the most musical member of a whole chain of generations of the Alonso-Bustillo family arrives in the world. 

 

Daughter of Ricardo Alonso and Maria Conchita Bustillo. She is the youngest of her brothers, Ricardo and Roberto.  

 

In Cuba, Maria Conchita was enrolled in the kindergarten of the nun's school, "El Apostolado".  

 

From a very early age she knew that she wanted to be an artist and armed with innate talent, earthly beauty and unique charisma had everything in her favor.

 

At the age of 4, she began playing a mouse in the musical "The Nutcracker"; her musical genes came from the maternal side of the Bustillo family. 

 

Before reaching the age of five, María Conchita made her debut on the fashion catwalks, modeling clothes for girls at an event at the Cienfuegos Yacht Club, where her father was a member of the committee. At 15 in Venezuela she would become one of the best models of her time. 

 

Her life was spent in a cosmopolitan environment, in 1962, she emigrated from Cuba arriving in Venezuela with her parents and brothers; living since she was a child as a Cuban political exile and Venezuela is the country where she finds the freedom and refuge she has longed for. 

 

Once in Venezuela she was enrolled in La Consolación, one of the main nun's schools in Caracas. 

 

In 1969 she traveled to Washington State, Spokane and then to study at Deer Park High School where she learned English, who would say that she would later open the doors to a whole new generation of Hispanic artists in that country. 

 

Upon his return to Venezuela, she attends the American School of Baruta, Caracas and later completes his studies at the school for young ladies in Switzerland, the Miramonte Boarding School of the order of Jesus Maria, Montreaux. 

Her beauty has made entire juries of various beauty pageant dizzy. As a young girl, she travels to Lisbon, Portugal, where she obtains the title of "Miss Princess of the World" on June 10, 1971, representing the country that welcomed her and which she considers her adoptive country, Venezuela. 

Upon her return from Portugal, she made her television debut on the program "Martes Monumental", hosted by Eladio Larez, where she is welcomed as a World Princess. 

Maria Conchita handed her crown in Berlin and stayed in Europe, Switzerland, to finish her studies. Previously she went for a short time to Geneva with some friends, where she studied the Quechua language with Bolivian friends.  

As a result of her natural beauty, years later she represented capital district "Miss Venezuela 1975", celebrated in the Poliedro of Caracas on May 9, 1975, remaining as "Miss Venezuela World" and opening herself up to the "Miss World" of that same year. 

 

As representative of Venezuela, being up for in “Miss World 1975" , beauty pageant celebrated on Thursday, November 20th, 1975 at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England, she was recognized as the seventh most beautiful woman in the planet. 

 

It should be noted that María Conchita in the "Miss World 1975" managed to qualify unlike Maritza Pineda, who represented Venezuela in the "Miss Universe 1975" in San Salvador. 

After living a few months in Spain, on December 13, 1976, she returned to Venezuela and started working as an animator in a music video program on Channel 8 and later on Channel 2 Radio Caracas TV, the TV program "Hola Juventud".  

The following year, on August 10, she made her debut as an animator in "Cuéntame ese Chiste" with Orlando Urdaneta.  

In 1978 she became known as an actress making her debut in the co-production "Savana - Sesso e Diamanti", a controversial Italian film.  

Towards the end of the 70`s Maria Conchita acted in the play "Archi" where she played Veronica and thus appeared on the cover of Vzla magazine. Entertainment in 1979. The same year she plays the beautiful Aurora in "Solon" by Enver Cordido.  

In 1979 María Conchita releases her first recording material for the Anglo-Saxon market together with Rudy La Scala, who gathers one of his first fruits as a composer when he is in charge of the compositions of this album entitled "Love Maniac" that would become a success in the voice of this artist and would project it at an international level. Later on, the album "Love Maniac" would become the first gold record in Venezuela with more than 70 thousand copies sold. 

A`mbar was born in January 1979, being the most surprising thing the discovery of the identity of the female voice in charge of the masterly interpretation of that rhythm "disco music", a contest was played on the radio to identify who sang the song "Love Maniac". The Polygram record company had given the name A`mbar to María Conchita Alonso to create an expectation before the release who is A`mbar? they asked on the radio, 10 days later it was announced that María Conchita Alonso was A`mbar, the name of her first album. From the launch, they began to tour the country.  

 

On July 5, 1979 "El Nacional" published: María Conchita Alonso to the conquest of the record as "A'MBAR" 

 

Without a doubt, this production, never before created in Venezuela, with the particularity of having credits in English and after having been launched simultaneously in Europe, America and Africa, became an example that in Venezuela it was possible to make productions with export quality. 

 

A`mbar was the first big launch of a Venezuelan artist where they joined: a television station (RCTV), a record company (Polygram-Polydor), advertising agencies, press, television and radio commercials, even the launch of a shampoo called "Ambar" and a whole line "Ambarelle" sponsored by Abbott Laboratories. 

 

The A`mbar project was an event that surpassed all expectations, below I share with you the dates of some of its greatest presentations. Later she began her career as a television actress, always cultivating the fine art of captivating with each of her soap operas on Radio Caracas Television and Channel 2 in Venezuela.   

Her first soap opera was in 1979 with a supporting role in the popular soap opera "Mabel Valdéz, Periodista" with Marina Baura, Gustavo Rodríguez and Raúl Amundaray, where she earned a reputation as a good actress. For this reason, José Ignacio Cabrujas and Fausto Verdial, authors of the so-called "Cultural Soap Opera", selected her for the role of Marina Baura's counter-figure in the legendary novel "Natalia de 8 a 9". 

She then worked on Julio César Mármol's "Estefanía", which premiered on July 1, 1979, a story that portrayed a time of dictatorship, which would be the first Venezuelan soap opera to be broadcast in color. This is the soap opera with which the public began to remember her as an actress, not just as a singer. 

Later she continued to be linked to this genre with other Venezuelan productions such as "El Esposo de Anaís" and "Mi Hijo Gabriel" (1980). 

Without leaving aside her passion for music, that same year she returned to the stage together with Rudy La Scala with her new album, this would be the second album of A`mbar "The Witch" , very representative of the disco transition of the 80`s. 

 

Next I share with you another of her presentations on December 5, 1980 in the theater "La Campiña" along with the Group TINAJAS, presentation that had to repeat at the request of the public on 6, 7, 9, 20, 21 and 26, 27 and 28 of the same month. 

 

That same year she played her first leading role in the soap opera "Claudia" and then "Marielena" (1981) both with Jean Carlos Simancas, but the latter would become one of the great hits of RCTV in those 80`s and would consecrate the couple Conchita/Simancas. 

 Some important dates in A`mbar´s career: 

- On January 23, 1981 Ambar is invited to TV "Pantalla de Plata" Channel 2  

- On April 10, 1981 A'mbar receives her first "Golden Record" for the LP "Love Maniac"  

- On July 16, 1981 A'mbar at the City Hall discotheque of the CCCT, Chuao  

 Along with her musical successes, she continued to star in soap operas such as the sweet story of "Angelito" and then the story she tells about the beauty pageant "Luz Marina" which reached historic ratings levels, again with Jean Carlos Simancas. 

With all these attributes María Conchita Alonso was logically one of the favorite characters of the show business magazines of the time, such as "Venezuela Gráfica", "Venezuela Farándula", "Ronda", "Momento", "Variedades", "Páginas" and "Élite", among others.  

"As a representative of the Cancer Zodiac Sign, María Conchita has always been a woman in search of new goals that undoubtedly resulted in the opening of new horizons".  

There is no doubt that María Conchita marked an entire generation and in 1982 after captivating Latino hearts, she decided to emigrate to the United States, Los Angeles, to make her dream of conquering Hollywood come true.  

"After doing soap operas, some filmmaking, music and modeling in Venezuela, I thought it was time: I took my bags and my dogs and went in search of the Hollywood dream” 

 

María Conchita Alonso

 

Her first works in this country were in the well-known TV series: "Fantasy Island" with Ricardo Montalbán and "Knight Rider" with David Hasselhoff. 

In addition, on September 8, 1982, She released the album "Ritmo Peligroso" (Dangerous Rhythm) with the Polydor label, still with songs in English (only one in Spanish); this was her first album after leaving the project "A`mbar", now as María Conchita Alonso.

A special mention should be made of the song recorded in 1983 "Vamos a bailar" from her composition for the soundtrack of the film "Scarface" by Brian de Palma. 

The election of Miss Venezuela 1983 took place at the Macuto Sheraton Hotel in Caraballeda, and María Conchita Alonso and Guillermo Dávila participated in the event. The program was conducted by Carmen Victoria Pérez, Gilberto Correa and the Mexican entertainer Raúl Velasco.

That year she was also invited to participate in the chronicle of a young love "Nacho", a continuation of the successful soap opera "Ligia Elena" by César Miguel Rondón, which launched the Venezuelan Guillermo Dávila to fame together with Alva Robersi. 

In 1984, hired by Herb Alpert's record label, she recorded the album "María Conchita" under the production of Juan Carlos Calderón, the first single was "Acaríciame", number 1 in all countries, followed by "Noche de copas" also number 1, "La Loca". Almost all of the singles were in the top 10 in all countries. This album earned her first American Grammy nomination and platinum record. 

As an established singer, on October 29, 1984, María Conchita gave a concert to the detainees of the "El Junquito" Judicial Retention Center, Caracas, Venezuela.

The musical event won the award as "Best Musical Program of the Year". The payment requested by the artist was exchanged to Venevisión for toilets and a library. 

On this occasion, María Conchita was moved by some songs composed for her by some prisoners, she said:

"We are all born good and a man who composes songs cannot be completely bad”

After that concert, María Conchita and her brother created the "Fundación Pro Defensa del Procesado Penal" and gave another concert in December, Guanare, Portuguesa on the occasion of the first visit of Pope John Paul II to Venezuela, to promote his visit to that country's Catholic capital, where the Virgin of Coromoto appeared.

On the same day of that controversial concert, she released in Venezuela the sentimental compilation, vinyl and LP "Te Amo - Maria Conchita", with the Polydor label that includes the electronic, rock and pop genre with some of her previous hits and new songs, PolyGram Discos, S.A. and produced by Rudy La Scala.

 

In Los Angeles she signed with A&M Records to release her unforgettable LP and album María Conchita in 4 versions, from which her greatest hits "Acaríciame" and "La Loca", written by the Diego sisters, emerged; with this work she obtained her first Grammy nomination as "Best Latin Artist".  

On this album is one of her greatest musical successes "Noche de copas" by Spanish composer Juan Carlos Calderón, with which she received gold and platinum records (bear in mind that "Noche de Copas" was written more than 30 years ago, but the ability to engage the public from the first time to the present is only within the reach of the greats). 

As mentioned earlier, Maria Conchita Alonso was the first Latin American actress to become an international movie star in Hollywood, leaving the doors opened to future Latin artists. The first film in her successful career of more than 50 movies was "Fear City" by Abel Ferrara. 

Maria Conchita recalls about her second film and debut in 1984 in “Moscow on the Hudson” by Paul Mazursky:  

 

I was at a party and the society column in The Hollywood Reporter magazine took a picture of me, the casting assistant saw it, showed it to her boss, they immediately called my agent to audition and after a month I got the part.   

"Moscow on the Hudson" along with the famous Actor Robin Williams (R.I.P.) competed in the San Fermin festival getting a special award. 

With a complicated agenda, but in consequence of her artistic and social feelings, that same year she visited Peru to collaborate with the Telethon in favor of the children of the Hogar San Juan de Dios. 

The same year she is a special guest on the show "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson", to which she is invited again in 1989. 

She also participated in the recording of the charity single "Cantaré, cantarás" together with several artists who were references of the time and united under the name of "Proyecto Hermanos". It was the Spanish version of We are the World to help poor children around the world, composed by Albert Hammond and Juan Carlos Calderón, with lyrics by Anahí van Zandweghe and released in December of that year. 

The result of more than 16 hours of recording is a musical jewel catalogued as one of the most successful songs of the 80s and one of the most beautiful musical compositions of all time. 

In Spain, 1985, she released the single Tú Eres El Hombre/Tómame o Déjame with A&M Records in vinyl format.  

With A&M Records, she released the LP and album "O Ella o Yo" in 3 versions, one of her greatest hits, from which the single of the same name was extracted. On January 12, 1985, it earned her second Grammy nomination as "Best Latin Popular Music Album" 1st LP of the same name. This was her second album at the international level.  

On February 13, 1985, she performed at the 26th Viña del Mar International Song Festival Show as Queen of the Festival and jury member. Her first song about the Quinta Vergara was the hit "Noche de Copas", which must be the first one presented, This must be the first presentation of a remix on that stage since the Festival Orchestra was notoriously accelerated, with respect to the original theme; however, María Conchita with total scenic and artistic dominion was victorious of the malicious action of this director.  

In 1986 our beautiful actress captivated us with three of her films: 

- The comedy inspired by Laurel's and Hardy's skeletons. Blake Edwards' "A Fine Mess", released by Columbia Pictures, where you can appreciate the exuberant beauty of Maria Conchita.   

 

It also takes us on a walk through the beautiful Sicilian landscape in the Italian-American film "Blood Ties" - Il cugino americano, by director Giacomo Battiatto.   

 

The moving and romantic story told by "Dale y Vete" (Touch and Go) directed by Robert Mandel, which stars alongside Michael Keaton and Ajay Naidu. 

  

In 1986 she released with A&M Records, Sonográfica the compilation and LP "Lo Mejor de María Conchita Alonso".  

 

Also in 1986 she was invited to the famous program "Late Night with David Letterman", to which she would be invited again in 1989.  

 

"María Conchita, a spontaneous and innovative woman; she never calculated anything but was the woman who dared to give lyrics and melody to women's feelings, desires, experiences and passions, a complete taboo for the time".  

 

In 1987, with A&M Records, in Venezuela, she released her LP and album "Mírame", from which unforgettable songs like "Y es que llegaste tú" and "Otra mentira más" came out, a song for which she was nominated to the Grammy for the third time, as "Best Latin Performance" and once again placed her as a singer in the main positions of the musical billboards of the Latin American world. 

 

The same year she gives life to one of the most prominent female characters in Walter Hill's films in the movie” Extreme Prejudice” with Nick Nolte and co-stars with Arnold Schwarzenegger "The Running Man” released on November 20, 1987, a superb film adaptation based on Stephen King's book "The running man”

 

In 1988 she is guest of honor at the Ronda de Venezuela awards, where she performs her song "Lluvia de Amor", consolidating her status as the Venezuelan artist with the greatest international projection .

That same year she starred with Sean Penn in Dennis Hoper's crime drama "Colors of War", a portrait of the city with its oppressive walls painted in a thousand colors and its inhospitable spaces.   

 

Then our Cuban-Venezuelan beauty takes us for a walk into vampire mythology with Nicolas Cage and Jennifer Beals in the film "Vampire's Kiss" by Robert Bierman.   

 

"Con el corazon en la mano" directed by Mauricio Walerstein is another of the films that Maria Conchita starred in in 1988, intense, daring and controversial just as she was and is our actress.  

 

In 1989 she gives life to a beautiful and rebellious motorcyclist in her own TV series on NBC: "Los enredos de María Cochita" (One of the Boys) with Robert Clohessy. 

 

The same year she is named "Queen of Carnival" in Miami, one of the biggest festivities in the world celebrated on 8th Street "pequeña Havana" where our actress has her star in "The 8th Street Walk of Fame" in which several Hispanic artists are featured in an emulation of the Hollywood Walk of Stars.

On June 9 of that year, at the 19th Nosotros Golden Eagle Awards, Maria Conchita was honored with a special award as an outstanding actress at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills.  

 

Our charismatic actress, that year is invited to record an episode of "Sesame Street" with other renowned artists in the celebrity version of "Monster in the Mirror".  

 

"Maria Conchita's success in the 80's was a success story of how a Latina actress paved the way for the acceptance of a growing number of Hispanic actresses in Hollywood.   

 

In Mexico, 1990 with A&M Records, she released the sublime CD and compilation "Grandes Éxitos de María Conchita" (Maria Conchita's Greatest Hits), with a compilation of this performer's greatest hits. A true musical delight for her fans.   

 

The same year, she releases her electrifying LP, album and CD "Hazme Sentir" with Polygram Latino, Capitol records and Philips in 5 versions, with the hit song of the same name, personally one of the most beautiful and passionate songs of this interpreter, only understandable by some privilege of the soul. This song would go Platinum and then Gold in just a few weeks, taking it on several tours in Latin America.  

 

"Maria Conchita not only performs songs but goes further, she performs feelings that are not captured on paper and graffiti, just that magical feeling that expresses the passion of her voice".

 

On March 2, 1990, for all the achievements of our star she received the award "Hispanic Woman of the Year" given by the "Fundación "Mexican American Opportunity Foundation" for their contribution to both the entertainment industry and the Hispanic community.  

At the same time, as one of the most respected and admired artists in Latin America and the U.S., she was named "Hispanic Artist of the Year" for the Cinco de Mayo celebration (Mexico's victory over France in the Battle of Puebla).  

Following in her footsteps in Hollywood and ranked among Maria Conchita's best films, in 1990 she starred in Stephen Hopkins' action movie "Predator 2" , sharing credits with Danny Glover and Gary Busey.  

 

In Spain, 1991, she released the single "Hazme Sentir/Las Sombras de la Noche" with Philips in vinyl format.  

 

On February 20, 1991, she hosted with Edwards Olmos in "The 33rd Annual Grammy Awards" Radio City Music Hall, New York City presenting the Grammy to actor Tito Puente for "Best Tropical Latin Performance". 

 

"From the beginning of her career, she was committed to social causes, as she was very much marked by the difficult times of the Cuban dictatorship that she had to live through in her childhood".  

 

In November 1991, she returned to Peru to collaborate with the 10th Telethon broadcast by Channel 9 (today ATV) which was joined by RTP Channel 7 and Channel 11 RBC, in favor of the children of the Hogar San Juan de Dios. She also offered two concerts to please her fans who were already demanding live performances. 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iDvisjg69k

That year she was also invited to the 4th annual Desi Awards, an event that recognizes the achievements of Hispanics in music, film and television.

 

In May of that year, María Conchita visited Acapulco as a guest singer for the "Festival Acapulco 1991" and on September 18, in a successful tour of Venezuela, she presented a concert in the Ríos Reyna Hall of the Teresa Carreño Theater.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0rzTilXv8I

The same year she's a special guest on "The Chuck Woolery Show".

At the same time, in 1991 she starred in the mini-series "Cuerpos Clandestinos" with Franklin Virgüez and Felix Loreto, a film directed by Renato Gutierrez with a script by Leonardo Padrón. 

 

She also stars in "McBain", an action movie that tells a story of dictatorship in Colombia, with Christopher Walken from director James Glickenhaus. 

 

"Maria Conchita was a woman ahead of her time and that made her mark a style, which was later copied, but never surpassed". 

 

In December 1991, María Conchita dresses up with sensuality for the Mexican edition of Playboy, the funds were destined to an institution that fights against AIDS. 

 

In 1992, while conducting and co-producing her variety show "Picante" in Mexico, for Imevisión, broadcast every Sunday night, the performer releases her 5th LP "Imagíname" with Columbia/Sony Music on November 24, 1992 with which she is nominated on January 7, 1993 for a third Grammy, this time for "Best Latin Pop Album".

 

This work contains 7 songs. The song "Imagíname" has lyrics that go fearlessly into the soul of a woman.

Later, she launched "María Conchita en Vivo", recorded in Mexico and produced by Capitol; which derived from her presentation in 1991 at the "El Patio" show center. Often, listening to her is like driving at night without lights and getting lost, she totally abstracts you in her feeling for music.

 

"The songs contained in the María Conchita plate, in spite of the passage of time, are still remain because the new singers continue to include them in their recordings".

 

- Special guest at the program "One on One with John Tesh - 1992"

Based on the true story of Jackie Presser's life, Maria Conchita co-starred with Brian Dennehy, Jeff Daniels and Eli Wallach in the HBO film "Power Play - The Jackie Presser Story," released in September 1992.  

 

The 20th "International Emmy Awards" took place on November 23, 1992, at the Sheraton Hotel in New York. The award ceremony was organized by Louis Gossett Jr. and Maria Conchita Alonso, and televised on November 29, 1992, by PBS .

On May 21, 1993 she participated as a judge in the "Miss Universe 1993", which was the 42nd edition of the Miss Universe celebrated in the National Auditorium, Mexico City, where the winner was Dayanara Torres from Puerto Rico.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-ksC2zUroA

Qualified by María Conchita as a divine experience, in 1993 she is the only actress with South American heritage to participate in the film "The House of the Spirits", by Bille August, based on the novel by Chilean writer Isabel Allende, released in April 1994. 

 

That same years she co-starred in the American drama "Roosters", by Robert M. Young, with Edwards Olmos and Sonia Braga, launched in July 1995 by the IRS Films. 

Our unsurpassable María Conchita, was always one of the stars invited to the Premios Ronda making you feel that special moment of music and seduction that she always left in all her performances; that is why in 1994 she was in charge of the opening of the Premios.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=U30CgbMrg1g

María Conchita returns to the channel that made her famous, RCTV, where she stars alongside the good-looking  Actor Jorge Schubert, currently a writer, in the soap opera "Alejandra" by the writer Delia Fiallo. The first broadcast of the telenovela was in February 1994 and was transmitted in approximately 40 countries in North, Central and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, with an expected audience of more than 300,000,000 people. 

An album of romantic ballads was recorded in conjunction with this telenovela, the album "Boleros" with Polygram, songs like "Contigo Aprendí" and "Somos Novios" by Armando Manzanero, set this melodrama to music.

 

Special guest on the programs:  

- "To the Rhythm of the Night" (1994); "The Arsenio Hall Show" (1992/1994).

"Thanks to her warm personality and electric performances, her records continue to be sold mainly in Mexico and Latin America".

 

That same year, she returns with A&M Records for the last time to release her album "De Colección", a compilation of hits performed right down to the pores of her skin.

 

At the same time, she participates in two movies:

- An interesting visit to the game world with the film "MacShayne: The Final Roll of the Dice" by E.W. Swacklamer, with Kenny Rogers. "McShayne," which was a movie for NBC televised in April 1994.

- Richard Lang's "James A. Michener's Texas", an epic as big as the land that shaped it, with Benjamin Bratt. 

 

In 1995 our sensual Maria Conchita presents her high voltage fitness routine: "Dance It Up - Hot Fitness".

- Special guest of the program "Here there is no one to sleep".

 

 ...from the musical world to the movies and theater on Broadway... 

In 1995 her histrionic abilities took her to the Broadway marquees, under the direction of Harold Prince. She headed the cast of the musical comedy "El Beso de la Mujer Araña" (Spider Woman's Kiss), a role that allowed her to demonstrate the strength of her singing and her personality by playing "Aurora - Spider Woman" in a Broadway production, becoming the first woman in Latin America to reach the star of the Gran Vía Blanca in her debut on March 20.

"My first love is cinema, but who knows, maybe I'll fall in love with Broadway and stay for many years” 

María Conchita Alonso