Note: Some of this post might not be strictly true: most of what is written about her is in Spanish and my Spanish is not very good! So corrections are welcomed.
Diana Danelys De Los Santos (1990- ), better known as Amara La Negra or Amara Santos, is a US singer and dancer. Her biggest song to date has been “Ayy” (2013) in the Dominican Republic. She is known for her big Afro, her lovely figure and her sensual dancing. She is beautiful!
She was born to Dominican parents in the US. She was the daughter of a stage mother who lived not far from the Miami studios of Univision, the largest Spanish-language television network in the US. There she grew up before our eyes: at age four she won Miss Chiquitita. From age four to ten (late 1990s) she appeared on the variety show “Sábado Gigante” (1962- ). Later she danced with the likes of Celia Cruz, Gloría Estefan, Oscar de Leon and Los Tigres del Norte. At 19 she won third place on “Diva Latina”.
She has appeared on two other Spanish-language television networks in the US as well:
- On Telemundo she has appeared in bit parts in telenovelas such as “Perro Amor” (2010).
- On Mega TV she presented for “A Tacón Quita’o” (2011).
As a child she spent so much time working that she never learned to swim, skate or ride a bicycle! But that was hardly the worst of it:
“They said I was too black, my hair was too hard, I insisted on hair relaxers. … In school I was a victim of bullying, I was called whale, frog, cow, I was separated from the girls who were skinny & pretty. It was very difficult.”
At 13 she was 230 pounds (104kg). She lost weight, in time achieving the figure she has now. At 16 she went natural and now she loves her hair. Her grey-green eyes are real.
She is proud to be Latina and Black – “estoy muy orgullosa de ser una negra.” The Dominican press describes her as mulata and morena (brown), meaning they see her as partly White, not completely Black. She is in fact part Italian by blood. There is no One Drop Rule in the Dominican Republic.
Musically she grew up on the Queen of Disco (Donna Summer) and the Queen of Salsa (Celia Cruz) along with Tina Turner and La India. Her own music, as her record company puts it, “ranges from the Tropical to Urban Music, from Afro to Soul, to Dance, to Pop and R&B.” They say she has “strong Latin roots mixed with her purely Yankee style.”
In 2013 she came out with a string of songs. The biggest by far was “Ayy”. Some do not like the video because of the booty dancing. She says the dancing and the short shorts were her mother’s idea! She says of the song:
“The kids have taken over [the song] ‘Ay’ and so I have been criticized but that is a song that is not made for children.”
On October 30th 2014 she is set to appear in “Yo soy la salsa” (2014), a film about Dominican salsa band leader Johnny Pacheco, where she sings songs by the late Celia Cruz.