A late bloomer, perhaps, but what a flower -- Mexican singer Chavela Vargas did not release her first album until she was 42, didn't come out as a lesbian until she was 81, and didn't debut at Carnegie Hall until she was 83. What was she doing all those years before recording Noche de Bohemia in 1961? Well, she dressed as a man, often in her signature red jorongo, smoked cigars, drank heavily, and packed a pistol, so obviously she was busy with more than singing rancheras in the streets. And maybe she had an affair Frida Kahlo (as Josephine Baker had). Since that first record, she has released more than eighty albums. Her great fame of the 1960s and 70s subsided when she retired to battle her alcoholism. She returned to performing at 72 in 1991 in Mexico City. Since then her music has been widely used in films and she has appeared singing in several movies including Almodovar's Flower of My Secret, Taymor's Frida, and Innartu's Babel. All I can say is buy her, beware: The first time you hear Chavela unleash her power midway through the quiet Paloma Negra you might drop whatever you're holding. She died in 2012 at 93.