Yma Sumac

Yma Sumac (September 13, 1922 – November 1, 2008) was a Peruvian vocalist and performer who was popular with international audiences during the 1950s. Distinguished by her outlandish getups and expressionistic five-octave range, she recorded a string of albums in the mambo/exotica vein, most notably the Les Baxter-conducted Legend of the Sun Virgin (1952) and the Billy May-orchestrated Mambo! (1954), both issued stateside on Capitol.

A 1972 reunion with Baxter yielded the psychedelic/art-rock album Miracles, which cast Sumac as a forebear to upcoming exotic female performers like Lene Lovich, Nina Hagen, Toyah Willcox, and Danielle Dax.


  • Voice of the Xtabay (1950)
  • Legend of the Sun Virgin (1952)
  • Inca Taqui (1953, with Moises Vivanco)
  • Mambo! (1954)
  • Legend of the Jivaro (1957)
  • Fuego del Ande (1959)
  • Recital (1961)
  • Miracles (1972)

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