July 9 is not only Argentina’s Independence Day but today is also the 70th birthday of singer Mercedes Sosa.

Mercedes Sosa is one of the most well-known singers from Argentina. She sings folklore, songs of protest and social concern that were inspired by her native heritage and her roots in the provinces. In the 1970s her songs were censored by the military dictatorship ruling Argentina. She went into exile in 1979 until 1982 when the the dictatorship ended.

Since the 1960s Mercedes Sosa has performed throughout the world at top venues including Carnegie Hall in New York City.

I was fortunate to see Mercedes Sosa perform in Miami Beach a couple of years ago at the Jackie Gleason Theater. I had gotten seats fairly close to the front and it was an incredible concert. For weeks afterwards, I had one of her CDs in my stereo set to wake me up every morning with the sound of her voice.

Read these reviews of her concert performances, from London’s Guardian and from Colombian singer Marta Gomez who writes a wonderful entry about Mercedes Sosa, for whom she opened the concert at Boston’s Berklee Performance Center in 2003.

At 70 Mercedes Sosa is not performing so much anymore but if you get a chance to see her in concert then you definitely should go. If you don’t own one or more her albums, then go get one today.