Milly Quezada

Milly Quezada.jpg
Milly Quezada
Birth nameMilagros Quezada Borbón
Also known asMilly Quezada, Reina del Merengue, Queen of Merengue Music
Born (1955-05-21) May 21, 1955 (age 64)
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
OriginDominican Republic
GenresMerengue, bachata

Milagros Quezada Borbón, known simply as Milly Quezada, (born May 21, 1955) is a multiple Latin Grammy-winning Dominican Merengue music singer. She is a singer in Latin America; especially in those Latin American countries bordered by the Caribbean Sea, and in the eastern seaboard region of the United States. She is also known as Merengue Queen.[1] She has won four Latin Grammy Awards.


Milly Quezada was born in Santo Domingo, the daughter of two Cibao natives and sister of four musician brothers. Growing up in such a musical family, Quezada became interested in music as a toddler—she would sing along with her brothers for family, friends and small gatherings near her home.

She expressed an interest in developing her singing talents as a young girl, and, partly for this reason the Quezada family moved to New York City when she was still a child.

Milly spent her pre-teen and teen years in New York, a city that is well known as a school for Merengue and Salsa singers from its Latino barrios, e.g. Spanish Harlem. In New York, Quezada developed an in-depth knowledge of her favorite musical genre, the fastest of the Latin American popular dance music styles, sung in Spanish and native to the Dominican Republic (see also Son Cubano, Rumba, Salsa, Cha-Cha-Cha, and Punta for comparison, as well as Kompa, the style sung in Haitian Creole in neighboring Haiti).

She completed her primary and secondary school in New York City and graduated cum laude from City College of New York ‘1981 in Communications and Mass Media. She also graduated with a Paralegal degree ‘1992 from Katherine Gibbs School, Montclair, NJ.

Milly, Jocelyn y los Vecinos

Her musical inclinations developed as a pastime in the streets of Washington Heights where she formed with her brothers and sister, the group that would become known as Milly Jocelyn & Los Vecinos. Their music would identify the growing Hispanic Community of Dominicans in Washington Heights and their distinctly feminist style of Merengue captured the hearts and imagination of the growing Hispanic Community. Hits that would rise in popularity during the ‘70s 80’s and 90’s include “Volvio Juanita,” “La Guacherna,” “Tengo,” and many other songs that would go on to become Christmas hits on national and international music platforms. Led by her oldest brother and musical arranger, Rafael Quezada, the “Queen of Merengue” along with the group would travel worldwide and become pioneers in the female-led musical Orchestra modality. They were first to bring live Dominican Merengue to major cities in Japan: Tokyo, Nagasaki and Osaka~ and regularly tour countries such as Madrid, Spain, Central and South America and many states with the United States where the Dominican Diaspora thrived. The group was also first in entertaining a Presidential Inaugural Gala in 1990: President George W. Bush Sr. in Washington, D.C.

Solo career

Quezada later decided to embark on a solo career, moving to Puerto Rico where she also married and became a mother, enjoying even more success as a solo artist. Since the 1990s, Quezada has been either on tour or in recording studios almost constantly, earning several prestigious awards and public recognition such as keys to cities (see below).

In January 1996 Milly's life was turned upside down with the passing away of her husband, manager and father of three young sons ~Rafael Vasquez~ forcing her to take a break from her musical career which had reached twenty years and twenty long playing records at this tragic moment in her life and the lives of her family. In 1997 she was encouraged by her longtime friend and manager, Pedro Nuñez del Risco, to retake her musical recording career which marked a “before” and “after” in her musical accomplishments. Along with the aforementioned hits, Milly Quezada went on to popularize songs like, “Lo Tengo Todo” “Entre tu Cuerpo y el Mío” “Porque me Amaste, “Para darte mi Vida” “Vive” “Toma mi Vida” amongst many other songs.