Parra was born in San Carlos, province of Ñuble, a small town in southern Chile. She was involved in the progressive movement and the Socialist Party of Chile. She revived the Pea (nowknown as La Peña de Los Parra), a community center for the arts and for political activism. Some think she established the first 'peña' but according to the records of the Royal Academy of SpanishLanguage, places such as these had been called that since 1936 (RAE). During the government of President Salvador Allende there were Peñas mushrooming all over Chile. These were subsequently banned by themilitary regime of Augusto Pinochet that toppled the Allende government, making exiles and political prisoners out of whole sectors of the Chilean artistic and intellectual community. Nevertheless,there are still many Peñas operating throughout Chile, Latin America, North America, Europe, and Australia. They continue to serve the expat communities that fled Chile after the coup on 11 September1973 that overthrew President Salvador Allende.
Violeta Parra was a member of the prolific Parra family. Her brother is the notable modern poet, better known as the "anti-poet", Nicanor Parra. Herson, Ángel Parra, and her daughter, Isabel Parra, were also important figures in the development of the Nueva Canción Chilena. Their children have also mostly maintained the family's artistic traditions.Violeta Parra committed suicide with a gunshot to her head in 1967, because of her depression over the breakup of her relationship with Gilbert Favre.
Her most renowned song, Gracias a la Vida(Thanks to Life), was popularized throughout Latin America by Mercedes Sosa and later in the US by Joan Baez. It remains one of the most covered Latin American songs in history.
Gracias a la Vida hasbeen re-recorded by several Latin artists & Michael Bublé to gather funds for the Chilean people affected by the earthquake in Chile, February 2010.
Birth name: Violeta del Carmen Parra Sandoval...