Lila Downs

Born 9 September 1968.
Lila Downs


Ana Lila Downs Sánchez, best known as Lila Downs (born September 9, 1968) is a Mexican-American singer-songwriter and actress. She performs her own compositions as well as tapping into Mexican traditional and popular music. She also incorporates indigenous Mexican influences and has recorded songs in many indigenous languages such as Mixtec, Zapotec, Mayan, Nahuatl and P'urhepecha (Tarascan). Born and raised in Oaxaca, she primarily studied at the Institute of Arts by Oaxaca and briefly attended University of Minnesota, before withdrawing to focus on her musical career. She soon began performing in the traditional music scene of Oaxaca City.

Her first album, Ofrenda, was released in 1994. In 1999, Downs came to prominence with her debut studio album, La Sandunga, which was a critical and commercial success. She achieved international success in 2001 with the album Border which emerged in the music scene of Mexico and Latin America in the early 2000s (decade). Lila's seventh album, Pecados y Milagros (2011), topped album charts in most major markets and generated chart-topping world music albums. Her eighth album is planned for release in 2014.

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BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Shake Away

    Shake Away 2008

    Reviewed by Jon Lusk
    Lila Downs has one of those vocal styles that can only be described as an acquired taste.
  2. Review of La Cantina

    La Cantina 2006

    Reviewed by Chris Moss
    She plunders her country's native musical heritage, telling stories, confessing her...
  3. Review of One Blood/Una Sangre

    One Blood/Una Sangre 2004

    Reviewed by Martin Longley
    'Downs succeeds in organising a complicated network of influences into her own...
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