Nina Miranda (Tango Singer)

tango tango history tango music Nov 16, 2022

© by Cosima Diaz Campos

Nina Miranda

8 November 1925 (Montevideo, Uruguay) – 1 January 2012 (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Nina Miranda was born as Nelly María Hunter in 1925 in Montevideo, Uruguay. Nina Miranda is one of the most beautiful singers of the tango, with her crystalline voice and her soft and expressive phrasing. Her recordings have the charm of her fine sensitivity and her perfect tuning.

Unfortunately, out of love for her husband and at his request, she left her career early, at age 33, in 1958. After her husband deceased, she started her singing carreer again at the age of 79, in 2004. You can watch a performance of her in 2005 in this blog below.

In an interview she tells about the hommage to Donato Racciatti in 1999 in Teatro de Sodre in Montevideo. When the audience found out she was present in the audience, it went crazy and begged her to come to the stage and sing. Nina Miranda: "My husband said “Parate y decí algo” ("get up and say something"). So I did, I apologized, but the insistance of the public and of Donato Racciatti obliged me to go up on the stage. I said I would sing a fragment of the hit song “Maula”, but I sang it completely and it went amazing. I felt very moved. This is when I really became aware of how much it had come to mean to the people."

Photo above: Nina Miranda with bandoneonist Donato Racciatti

How did the young Nina Miranda start singing?

Nelly María Hunter (Nina Miranda) always loved to sing. Her parents listened to the radio a lot. A lot of tango, among many artists, Carlos Gardel and Mercedes Simone. Nina Miranda tells an anecdote about her first memory of her singing. She was only 3 years ago, and she was in church with her mother. And there, in the church, she just started singing the Tango "Pato, Que peinás a la gomina". They quickly covered her mouth to be quiet. It just shows, she was a natural born singer.

At age 8 her talent was discovered by a radio-actor. He was the father of a schoolfriend and heard her sing in the garden. He convinced her to join a singing contest, and she won.

Nina Miranda never took singing lessons. In an interview she mentions: "¿Les dije que nunca estudié, que nunca vocalicé? Nada de nada, todo natural" ("Did I tell you that I never studied singing?").

How did she got her artist name, Nina Miranda?

When Nelly María Hunter was 13 years old, she went to the cinema with her mother to see the movie Puerta Cerrada, with singer-actors Libertad Lamarque and Agustín Irusta. Libertad Lamarque plays a character of a singer, whose name was Nina Miranda. At the exit I told my mum, with great certainty: "The day I will be an artist, I will be named this."

How did her carreer start?

At the age of 17, in 1942, she won another contest. The price was a three-month contract. She started touring in Brazil with a women's tango orchestra, Las Golondrinas. Soon after she made her first recording with the orchestra of Juan Cao.

She recorded her first big hit, Maula, in 1952. It was daily played at the radio. In 1955 she moved to Buenos Aires, were she recorded with Donato Racciati and with Graciano Gómez. On the radio, she performed twice a week with the Lucio Demare.

End of a carreer and renascence in 2004

She worked with many great artists. Eventually she started touring with her own ensemble which, led by Fernando Córdoba. In 1957 she married an industrialist and she retired in 1958, at the younge age 33. After his death in 2004, she returned to tango, touring France, England, China and Brazil. She passed away in Buenos Aires in 2012.

Her voice in tango will be loved and cherished by many lifelong fans, by many new listeners of today, and by generations to come. Dancers are especially inspired by her recordings with Donato Racciatti.

Videos below:

  • Nina Miranda with Donato Racciatti in 1957
  • Nina Miranda live in 2005
  • Nina Miranda con Juan Cao in 1947
  • Nina Miranda con Fernando Cordoba in 1950
  • Nina Miranda con Donato Racciatti (1957)
  • Nina Miranda con Orquesta Graciano Goméz
    "Maula" - big hit from 1952

Nina Miranda with Donato Racciatti in 1957

"Tu Corazón" (Tango)

Nina Miranda live in 2005


Nina Miranda con Juan Cao in 1947


Nina Miranda con Fernando Cordoba in 1950


Nina Miranda con Orquesta Graciano Goméz 

"Maula" - big hit from 1952

Nina Miranda (1925 - 2012)


© by Cosima Diaz Campos

About Cosima Diaz Campos
"My love for tango was sparked by the tango music. I studied Tango Violin at the World Music section of the Conservatorium in Rotterdam in 1996/1997, and I continued with the tango dance soon after. I have been an Argentine Tango dance performer, choreographer and instructor for over 20 years. With a background in physiotherapy - specialized in healthy posture & movement - I have a good foundation to build my classes from the basics up. From analysis to synthesis. Art (including Tango), Yoga and Mindfulness are the pillars of my private and professionl life. My special interest is goes out to the history of tango dance and music, and to the tango as it was danced by the milongueras of the Golden Era and Orillera style."