'The Clive James Show' star Margarita Pracatan dies aged 89

Photo of Margarita PRACATAN (Photo by Patrick Ford/Redferns)
Photo of Margarita PRACATAN (Photo by Patrick Ford/Redferns)

Margarita Pracatan, the Cuban singer famous for appearances on Clive James' TV show, has died at the age of 89.

The news of her passing was confirmed to Sky News by her daughter Maria Gorshin, who said her mother had died on Tuesday 23 June.

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A message to Pracatan’s Instagram account read: “This evening the powerful force, the beautiful Life, Margarita Pracatan, left for the ultimate Happy Hours in the sky full of light and joy surrounded by her family and what she loved most in the world, Music. Love, celebrate and know that each one of you who sang along to her songs and danced to her music filled her with happiness throughout her life.

Read more: Tributes paid to director Joel Schumacher

“Pour a big Grand Marnier. Raise it up. Then one more time so the Stars blink and the Sky rumbles...PRACATAN!!!!!”

Pracatan was born in Cuba in 1931 as Margarita Figueroa before her family later moved to the USA in the 1950s. She settled in New York, where she lived until her death.

She found fame in the 90s when James invited her to appear on his TV show in the UK. Her music was featured frequently by DJ Martin Kelner on his BBC Night Network and BBC Radio 2 shows, promoter Chip Duckett said in an obituary for Pracatan.

Last year, Pracatan appeared on an episode of The Real Housewives of New York City, singing “Money Can’t Buy You Class”.

Clive James arrives for the 1995 Comedy Awards with Margarita Pracatan, a Cuban novelty singer, who found success in the 1990s when Clive James had her perform live on his TV show on numerous occasions. Picture taken 2nd December 1995. (Photo by Roy Fisher/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
Clive James arrives for the 1995 Comedy Awards with Margarita Pracatan, a Cuban novelty singer, who found success in the 1990s when Clive James had her perform live on his TV show on numerous occasions. Picture taken 2nd December 1995. (Photo by Roy Fisher/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

James died at the age of 80 last year, with Pracatan sharing in response to the sad news: "Saying goodbye is so shocking. Makes you quiet rewinding the memories. So many. Years and years of that intelligence and the talent and beautiful way of living, always to do excellence. Thank you, #CliveJames from the bottom of my heart. You live forever with us. #CliveJamesRIP."

Tributes poured in for the star upon the news of her death.

Journalist Lizo Mzimba tweeted: "So sad to see the social media reports saying that Margarita Pracatan has died aged 89. Her performances on the Clive James show were beyond wonderful."

Margarita Pracatan poses backstage at the second annual "Big Gay Out", Europe's biggest Gay music festival, at Finsbury Park on July 23, 2005 in London, England. (Photo by Jo Hale/Getty Images)
Margarita Pracatan poses backstage at the second annual "Big Gay Out", Europe's biggest Gay music festival, at Finsbury Park on July 23, 2005 in London, England. (Photo by Jo Hale/Getty Images)

Broadcaster Matthew Sweet shared: "Sorry to hear of the death of Margarita Pracatan, social media star before social media. We got her live on

“@BBCRadio3 once, to the faint annoyance of Clive James. In 2017 I saw her live in Catford & was delighted to discover she still considered the right notes unnecessary."

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