LIFESTYLE

Google doodle honors Peruvian soprano Yma Sumac on her birthday

  • From left: Mai Zetterling, Danny Kaye, Yma Sumac and Julie Wilson at the Apr. 23, 1954, premiere of 'Knock on Wood.'  (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

    From left: Mai Zetterling, Danny Kaye, Yma Sumac and Julie Wilson at the Apr. 23, 1954, premiere of 'Knock on Wood.' (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)  (This content is subject to copyright.)

Google chose to acknowledge on Tuesday the Peruvian soprano Yma Sumac, who rose to international stardom after World War II thanks to her extreme vocal range which was said to be at least five octaves at the peak of her career.

The company's search page marked the 94th anniversary of her birth with a new doodle in her honor.

Born Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chavarri del Castillo, Sumac grew up in the mountains of Peru and got her big break as a teenager when she first sang on an Argentinian radio show in 1942.

Listeners were astonished by her voice, as was Capital Records which signed Sumac in 1946. It was said that she could sing notes in the low baritone range all the way up to the so-called "whistle register."

Her 1950 album "Voice of the Xtabay," recorded with her husband Moisés Vivanco, sold more than a million copies.

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Throughout her career, Sumac’s voice took her to some of the biggest stages in the world including Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl and London’s Royal Albert Hall where she sang for Queen Elizabeth II. She made occasional forays into acting on Broadway and Hollywood, including a featured role in the 1954 Charlton Heston movie, "Secret of the Incas."

She was well known for wearing flamboyant costumes and ornate jewelry.

Sumac passed away in 2008 in Los Angeles, California.

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