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Carlos Gardel is regarded as the greatest tango singer of all time. Gardel grew up in the working class fruit and vegetable market district of El Abasto. The interior of the local train station, Estación Carlos Gardel, is decorated with huge tiled murals of his trademark smiling face. Nicknamed ‘el Morocho del Abasto’, Gardel sang first on the streets and later in neighbourhood bars.


Between 1913 and 1925 he performed in duo with Uruguayan singer/guitarrist José Razzano. Later as a soloist, he became an internationally-known recording and film artist. On 24 June 1935, at the height of his popularity, he died tragically in a plane crash in Medellín. Gardel epitomised the idea of the poor New Argentino ‘made good’, with improved social status, wealth, fame, and belonging. His photo still takes pride of place in many Argentine homes. On walls and mantlepieces, his idolised image is enshrined as a secure symbol of porteño aspirations.


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