In the centenary year of his birth, the remains of copla singer Miguel Frias de la Molina are to be brought home from Buenos Aires where he died in 1993. Known as the King of Copla, the singer was born in Malaga on April 10th 1908. He was brought up in Algeciras by his mother, sister and four aunts. He realised he was gay when he was working as a cleaner in a brothel. He then became one of the town’s first tourist guides, discovering his talent for singing when he took adventurous foreigners round the flamenco bars. On tour after the Civil War, he was beaten up in Madrid by two men who took exception to his homosexuality. After that incident his films, records, and performances were banned, and he hid away in a small village in Extremadura. In 1942 he fled to live in exile in Buenos Aires. Miguel de la Molina retired from the stage in 1960. In 1992 he was given the Orden de Isabel la Católica by King Juan Carlos, in recognition of his personal contribution to the world of art in Spain. He died the following year in Buenos Aires, aged 84. His remains will be buried in a new pantheon in the San Gabriel Cemetery in Malaga city, with the provincial government covering the costs. A sculpture of the singer will eventually be placed on the site.


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