Vikki Carr is an American singer from Mexican origins, who has performed in a variety of music genres, including jazz, pop and country, but has enjoyed her greatest success singing in Spanish. Carr is a blond and blue-eyed white Hispanic.
After taking the stage name ‘Vikki Carr’ the singer signed with Liberty Records in 1962. Her first single to achieve any success was “He’s a Rebel”, which in 1962 reached No. 5 in Australia and No. 115 in the United States. Producer Phil Spector heard Carr cutting the song in the studio, and immediately recorded a cover version billed to The Crystals that reached No. 1 in the United States. In 1966, Carr toured Vietnam with actor/comedian Danny Kaye. The following year her album It Must Be Him was nominated for three Grammy Awards. The title track reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States in 1967. “It Must Be Him” sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. She had two other songs make the US called her “the best girl singer in the business”. Carr had 10 singles which made the US pop charts and 13 albums which made the US pop album charts.
In 1968, she taped six specials for London Weekend TV. She appeared on various television programs, such as ABC’s The Bing Crosby Show in the 1964-1965 season. In 1970, she was named “Woman of the Year” by the Los Angeles Times. She guest-hosted The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1973. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1981. Carr also achieved the rare feat of singing for five presidents during her career: Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and Bill Clinton. Ford writes in his autobiography, A Time to Heal, that when Carr appeared at the White House, she asked the president, “What Mexican dish do you like?” His response: “I like you.” He goes on to write that the First Lady was not pleased: “Betty overheard the exchange, and needless to say, she wasn’t wild about it.”
In the 1980s and 1990s Carr had enormous success in the Latin music world, winning Grammy Awards for Best Mexican-American Performance in 1986 for her album Simplemente Mujer; Best Latin Pop Album in 1992 for Cosas del Amor; and Best Mexican-American Performance in 1995 for Recuerdo a Javier Solis. She also received Grammy nominations for the discs Brindo a La Vida, Al Bolero, A Ti and Emociones. Her numerous Spanish-language hit singles include “Total,” “Discúlpame,” “Déjame,” “Hay Otro en Tu Lugar,” “Esos Hombres,” “Mala Suerte” and “Cosas del Amor.” The latter song spent more than two months at No. 1 on the US Latin charts in 1991, her biggest Spanish-language US hit. Her Spanish-language albums have been certified gold and platinum in Mexico, Chile, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Colombia and Ecuador.