Haydée Mercedes Sosa (Spanish pronunciation: [merˈseðes ˈsosa]; 9 July 1935 – 4 October 2009), sometimes known as La Negra (literally: The Black (female)), was an Argentine singer who was popular throughout Latin America and many countries outside the region. She was born on Argentina's Independence Day. With her roots in Argentine folk music, Sosa became one of the preeminent exponents of nueva canción. She gave voice to songs written by many Latin American songwriters. Her music music made people hail her as the "voice of the voiceless ones", and "the voice of America".
Sosa performed in venues such as the Lincoln Center in New York City, the Théâtre Mogador in Paris and the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, as well as sell-out shows in New York's Carnegie Hall and the Roman Colosseum during her final decade of life. Her career spanned four decades and she was the recipient of several Grammy awards and nominations, including a posthumous Latin Grammy award for Best Folk Album. She served as an ambassador for UNICEF.