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Joe Biden pays tribute to Broadway legend Chita Rivera

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Joe Biden tribute, Chita Rivera, Broadway, star, death
  • Joe Biden pays tribute to Chita Rivera.
  • The Broadway legend died on January 30.
  • She had a long, illustrious career.

U.S. President Joe Biden paid tribute to the unforgettable Chita Rivera on Wednesday.

Chita was a dancer, singer and actress whose “dazzling charm will live on in the soul of our nation,” according to a statement he released.

The Broadway star, who was of Puerto Rican origin, died at the age of 91.

Her daughter, Lisa Mordente, confirmed the sad news to The New York Times.

President Biden pays tribute to Chita Rivera

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PHOTO: Getty Images

The president said of the musical icon: «Chita Rivera was an all-time-great of American musical theater.»

The statement went on to say she was «a pioneer and perfectionist whose magnetic performances in scores of Broadway productions brought joy to millions and captured the grit and grace of America.»

Chita Rivera’s mother Katherine Anderson was a clerk in the Pentagon and her father, Pedro Julio Figueroa del Río, was a clarinetist in the U.S. Navy band.

They were both major influences on Chita from the time she was young.

Joe Biden celebrates Chita Rivera’s cultural contribution

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The family’s move to New York at the age of 15 marked the beginning of a brilliant career for Rivera.

She stood out playing strong women in classics such as West Side Story, Bye, Bye, Birdie, Chicago and Kiss of the Spider Woman.

Biden pointed out that the incomparable artist contributed to shaping the American identity through her performances.

Dolores Conchita Figueroa del Rivero, as she was known in her closest circle, became an influential Broadway figure after her impressive debut in 1957.

She had a brilliant Broadway career

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PHOTO: Getty Images

She played Anita in the original production of West Side Story.

Her legacy is embodied in two Tony Awards, 10 nominations, the prestigious honorary Tony in 2018 and inclusion in the exclusive ‘EGOT’ club.

EGOTs have made their mark with performances in theater, music and television and film by with winning an Oscar, a Tony, a Grammy and an Emmy.

Rivera also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States.

Awards and honors

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In his statement, Biden reflected on the artist’s influence, stating that her work transcended conventional entertainment.

He pointed out how her performances helped change how we view our world.

«I think I have been blessed because I have been able to play many roles, and when West Side Story came along it was the perfect musical,» Rivera said in an interview with EFE in 2013.

Her role as the Puerto Rican Anita in that musical allowed her to tell the story of her people and highlight the challenges of the time.

A proudly Latina artist

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PHOTO: Shutterstock

Rivera, who never hid her Latin pride and her love for Puerto Rico, left a legacy that goes beyond the lights of Broadway where she gained fame.

Chita Rivera, with her mesmerizing grace, became a beacon of inspiration for generations of artists and spectators who are fascinated by theater.

Her contribution to musical theater leaves a indelible mark, and her achievements continue to resonate in the heart of the nation she loved so much.

Meanwhile, the words President Biden’s moving tribute left many with a lump in their throat.

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