Outrageous musician Margarita Pracatan dies aged 89

Margarita Pracatan, the outrageous feather-boa clad musician who found fame alongside TV host Clive James, has died aged 89.

Pracatan came to prominence in the 1990s when she made regular appearances on Clive James satirical news programs.

James once praised her enthusiasm for playing music saying, “She never lets the words or melody get in her way. She is us, without the fear of failure.”, while one another occasion he said she took some of the world’s most recognisable songs and made them seem unfamiliar, new and strange.

The larger than life entertainer was a regular guest at Pride celebrations around the world, including an appearance at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. During her career she made appearances at London club G.A.Y. and performed at the Edinburgh fringe Festival. More recently she appeared on the TV show Real Housewives of NYC performing a cover version of Luann de Lesseps’s Money Can’t Buy You Class.

Pracatan was born Margarita Figueroa, her family fled Cuba and moved to the USA when Fidel Castro came to power.  She settled on New York’s upper-west side and lived in the same apartment for over five decades. She worked in sales at Saks Fifth Avenue store where she handled many of the firms VIP customers.

She began performing in underground clubs in Manhattan, and eventually had her own cable TV show on community television. When British producers from Clive James program caught her broadcast she was booked to appear on his program where she became a regular guest.

During her appearances on his show she performed alongside many famous faces including Boy George and Gary Barlow.

Farewell Margarita, you will always be on our minds.

OIP Staff

Image: Twitter

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