It has been three years since Olga Tañon's last concert in South Florida, when she played the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood.
Back then, it had been a short while since the Puerto Rican singer performed at Colombian rocker Juanes' Concert for Peace in Havana, Cuba. Critics said Tañon committed professional suicide by taking that gig, but the so-called "Woman of Fire" proved them wrong.
Her flame has not yet fizzled. This Friday, Oct. 12, she takes the stage at the Miami Beach Fillmore before hitting Orlando's House of Blues the next day.
"I had been wanting to return to Miami for long, and thanks to God I'm coming back," Tañon says in a recent phone interview from her new home in Ocala. The 45-year-old songstress trusts her Cuban fan base will not fail her.
"For a time, there was stress about the excessive coverage of the concert [in Cuba]," she says. "For me, going there was a blessing, because we did something marvelous. We gave the people much love."
Love, and then some, she says, will be present in Miami and the other cities where she'll stop during this tour.
"We're going to play new songs, old songs, the ones that obviously people have always liked... 'Basta Ya' ('No More') cannot be left out, 'Es Mentiroso, Bandolero' ('He's a Liar, an Outlaw'). There will be dancing and the whole band. Miami's gonna have a super-good time," Tañon says.
Merengue has always been what she's known for, first in early 1990s groups, and later as a solo artist. Tañon gained popularity for her fast, danceable tunes, in which the theme was often to get even with men.
She expanded her repertoire to get into fusion, ballads and other genres, but whether she liked it, Tañoncould never get far from the rhythm that launched her career. Now she returns to that stye of music with the new single "Mala" ("Bad Woman"), off a new record she's still working on.
"This time, when I met with Pedro Dikan, who is the Cuban composer who wrote this song, and who lives in Miami, I said, 'This song is Olga Tañon.' Because it's a very tough number, and I love tough numbers," she says.
"Having the winning lyrics, and the winning composer, I was very excited to have recorded [the song], and to have it in the top places," she adds. "It goes back to traditional merengue, but done upright. No insults to men. In other cases, I call them liars, shameless. Here, it's very different."
The dancing star says the upcoming album will also be different. She plans to release it under her own label, Mia Musa Music, distributed by Sony Latin.
"We're going to release a CD, probably after January. Why not now? Because I want this CD to be full of songs that have played, and have sold online, but that have been hits," Tañon says. "If a song hasn't been played, and hasn't been well liked by the public, it's not going on this disc."
Translated from Spanish and abridged by Maria Murriel.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun