Lilian Garcia

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Lilian Garcia
Lilian Garcia.jpg
Ring name(s)Lilian Garcia
Billed height5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)[1]
Billed weight110 lb (50 kg)[2][3]
Born(1966-08-19) August 19, 1966 (age 47)
Madrid, Spain[4]
ResidesLos Angeles, California[5]
Billed fromNew York City, New York
DebutAugust 23, 1999
Websitehttp://www.liliangarcia.com
 
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Lilian Garcia
Lilian Garcia.jpg
Ring name(s)Lilian Garcia
Billed height5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)[1]
Billed weight110 lb (50 kg)[2][3]
Born(1966-08-19) August 19, 1966 (age 47)
Madrid, Spain[4]
ResidesLos Angeles, California[5]
Billed fromNew York City, New York
DebutAugust 23, 1999
Websitehttp://www.liliangarcia.com

Lilián Annette Garcia[6] (born August 19, 1966)[7] is a Spanish-American singer and ring announcer. She is signed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) as a ring announcer. During her first stint in WWE, she became the first WWE Diva to remain with the promotion for ten years.

Early life and career[edit]

García was born on August 19, 1966, in Madrid, Spain. She spent the first eight years of her life in the country due to her father's employment with the American Embassy, and was educated on an American military base, leading her to describe herself as a "military brat".[4][8] Upon returning to the United States, Garcia graduated from Irmo High School in Columbia, South Carolina. She went on to attend the University of South Carolina, graduating cum laude.[1] Lilian's family comes from Spain and Puerto Rico.[9]

García was a top ten finalist in the Miss South Carolina beauty pageant.[1] Garcia was also one half of a popular morning show on radio station WYYS,"YES 97" in Columbia with Chuck Finley in the early '90s. She was a VJ in Atlanta, Georgia, where she also had a drive-time afternoon radio show. She also served as karaoke host at the Nitelites nightclub in the Embassy Suites Hotel in Columbia, South Carolina, and later at the West Columbia Ramada.

Singing career[edit]

García singing the United States National Anthem at a WWE event.

García began singing when she was a child in Madrid, Spain as she participated in singing contests with her sister starting when she was five.[10] In her early teens – by then Garcia's family had relocated to Columbia, South Carolina – she was singing with a band at clubs around the area; her mom chaperoned so she could get in.[11] She appeared in the 1990 film Modern Love as a singer.

In addition to her broadcasting duties with World Wrestling Entertainment, García sang the National Anthem of the United States of America before most Monday Night Raw tapings from February 14, 2000 until her departure on September 21, 2009. WWE Chairman Vince McMahon asked her to sing America the Beautiful at WrestleMania 2000 and WrestleMania 21, joining a renowned list of legendary recording artists that includes Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Reba McEntire, Gladys Knight and Willie Nelson. Garcia is one of two singers to have sung the opening song at WrestleMania more than once, Franklin being the other.

García is a regular fixture in professional sports with annual performances for the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball. She has also performed at the 1996 Summer Olympics, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, Dancing with the Stars and as an opening act for James Brown.[12]

García's first single, "Shout", debuted at No. 69 on the Billboard Hot 100 in October 2002. She recalled her reaction to the news years later, commenting, "When my single came out years ago, and it was just a single, I remember the very first week it charted No. 69, and I was screaming as I grabbed Billboard, running down the streets of New York, holding it up and screaming, ‘I made Billboard! I made Billboard!' I'm dreaming for that moment again."[13]

Garcia recorded fellow Diva Torrie Wilson's theme song, "Need A Little Time", for WWE Anthology, a compilation album released by World Wrestling Entertainment in 2002. She co-wrote You Just Don't Know Me At All with producers Doug Kistner and Anthony Krizan, which was released in January 2004 on the WWE Originals album.[14] It became her theme song at WWE live events.

García began work on a solo album with Grammy award winning record producers George Noriega and Tim Mitchell in 2005, who have also worked with multi platinum artists such as Shakira, Ricky Martin and Jennifer Lopez. She announced on the August 13, 2007 episode of Raw that the title of her album would be ¡Quiero Vivir!, which is Spanish for I Wanna Live. The album was released on October 9, 2007 via Universal Music Latino. Garcia co-wrote eleven songs on the album, including three with Jon Secada, who she duets with on "Adonde". The album contains ten Spanish language tracks, and two English translations; "Under in Love" ("Desenamorada") and "Where Did Love Go?" ("Adonde").[15][16][17]

Following her departure from WWE in September 2009, García began work on a follow-up album. The new project will be predominantly English speaking, with possible Spanish nuances included. Garcia reunited with "¡Quiero Vivir!" produces George Noriega and Tim Mitchell to record the first song in Miami, Florida in February 2011.[18] She also recorded tracks with Grammy-nominated producer Oh, Hush!.[19]

Garcia appeared at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards, held on February 13, 2011 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.[20] Her appearance was featured the next evening on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.[21]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment (1999–2010, 2011–present)[edit]

Ring announcing and storyline involvements (1999–2008)[edit]

García was hired by the World Wrestling Federation as a ring announcer in 1999. She made her debut on the August 23, 1999, episode of Raw is War in Ames, IA.[22] She was involved in her first angle on the September 13 episode of Raw is War, when Jeff Jarrett applied a figure four leglock to her after she angered him by announcing his loss by disqualification to Luna Vachon.[23]

Garcia's second angle occurred on the December 13, 1999, episode of RAW. Lilian introduced Miss Kitty for a Women's Championship chocolate pudding pool match. After Lilian announced her, Miss Kitty grabbed the mic and informed Lilian that she was now to be known as "The Kat". Her opponent, Tori, came out for their match and right after the two women began, X-Pac came poolside in a skin diving suit complete with snorkel, flippers, and goggles. As he was adjusting his goggles Tori jumped on his back causing both of them to fall into the pool with X-Pac landing up on top of Tori, giving Miss Kitty an easy pinfall. Lilian announced the winner as "Miss Kitty", which infuriated The Kat, who threw Lilian into the pool of pudding.

García sang in the WWF for the first time on February 14, 2000, at a house show, and began singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at television tapings later that month.[10] Her first televised performance was on April 2, 2000, where she opened WrestleMania 2000. Following the September 11 attacks, Garcia sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" on the September 13, 2001, episode of Smackdown!, receiving a standing ovation. In the course of the evening, Garcia commented on the attacks, saying "Well, to say the least, this has been a real roller coaster of a week. And especially because I live in New York City. Um, I have loved ones there, and I'm just very fortunate and very glad that a specific one didn't get to go to his meeting at 8:30 in the morning that he was supposed to be at the Twin Towers, and uh...so I thank God for that, and I still don't know about a lot of my friends. I have...uh, we'll be finding out, I guess, little by little. I pray for everybody there...".[24]

In mid-2002, García briefly "feuded" with rival announcer Howard Finkel after Finkel left her to be decimated by 3-Minute Warning, culminating in an "evening gown versus tuxedo match" that Garcia won with the assistance of Stacy Keibler and Trish Stratus.

In June 2005, García began an on-screen romance with wrestler Viscera. The angle saw García propose to Viscera, stating that she wanted to marry him during the Vengeance pay-per-view on June 26. The angle ended at Vengeance when Viscera rejected Garcia in favor of The Godfather's "Hos". The angle was briefly resurrected eleven months later when Viscera proposed to Garcia on the May 22, 2006, episode of Raw, but was interrupted by Umaga before receiving an answer.[25]

García took part in her first major Diva publication in 2005 with the release of the Divas 2005 swimsuit magazine and related DVD Viva Las Divas of the WWE.[8]

On the June 5, 2006, episode of Raw, Garcia (legitimately) suffered a sprained wrist when wrestler Charlie Haas inadvertently knocked her to the ground as she stood on the ring apron. One week later, the accident was metamorphosed into a storyline, with Haas incurring the wrath of Viscera. The storyline ended on the July 10, 2006, episode of Raw, when Viscera "accidentally" performed a Samoan drop on Garcia while confronting Haas. Garcia was removed from television for several weeks in order to sell the Samoan drop.

García was the ring announcer for Monday Night Raw from 1999–2009.

García took part in her second major Diva publication in 2007 with the release of WWE Divas Do San Antonio, in honor of the WWE being in San Antonio for the Royal Rumble.

She returned to announcing on the July 2, 2007, episode of Raw after taking time off to recover from a skiing injury in which she tore the ACL in her right knee. She was not fully recovered as was evident from her only announcing the first two matches from the ring and the rest from the floor.

On the August 6, 2007, episode of Raw, Garcia announced her new album entitled "Quiero Vivir". Lilian then started a feud with Jillian Hall, who claimed to be a better singer than Lilian. The next week, she competed in WWE Idol, a parody of American Idol, in which she sang "New York, New York" by Frank Sinatra before being interrupted by Santino Marella.

Retirement and part time appearances (2009–2010)[edit]

In addition to announcing on Raw and Raw pay-per-view matches, Garcia would also announce on WWE Superstars making her first appearance on April 23, 2009.[26]

During the last week of August 2009, Garcia celebrated ten years with WWE, becoming the organization's first and only "Decade Diva." She debuted in August 1999.

On the September 21, 2009, episode of Raw from Little Rock, Arkansas, Jerry Lawler announced to the live audience that it was Garcia's final night with WWE. Garcia then made an emotional speech in the ring, thanking the fans and all of her colleagues. The final match she announced live featured Randy Orton, Chris Jericho and Big Show taking on the team of John Cena, Montel Vontavious Porter and Mark Henry, although a match between Primo and Chris Masters was taped earlier that evening and aired three days later on WWE Superstars, marking her final television appearance.

Garcia made a special appearance before the Madison Square Garden audience on November 16, 2009, singing The Star-Spangled Banner prior to the evening's Raw telecast. Garcia filled in for Raw ring announcer Justin Roberts on April 19, 2010, due to being stranded in Europe with other WWE Superstars and crew as a result of the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption. Her appearance caused a surge in online searches, resulting in the term "Lilian Garcia" becoming the eighth most searched-for term on Google that evening and into the next day.[27][28] Garcia attended WWE's SummerSlam Kickoff Party in Hollywood, on August 14, 2010.[citation needed]

From November 15-29, 2011, Garcia was co-host of AfterBuzzTV's Raw post-show podcast.

Return to WWE (2011–present)[edit]

Lillian Garcia at the 2011 Tribute to the Troops event.

On December 5, it was announced on WWE.com, that Garcia would be returning to ring announcing full-time, appearing on SmackDown!. She returned at the December 6 tapings of the show.[29] She also serves as the ring announcer for Main Event and PPVs.

Garcia suffered accidents prior to Smackdown tapings in 2012. While heading to the ring prior to the March 13 taping in Columbus, Ohio, the strap on her left shoe broke. One month later, during the April 17 taping in London, England, she tripped over pyrotechnic equipment on the top of the stage and fell down on the ramp, landing on her knees. At the TLC pay per view she announced that the bell would toll 26 times for the victims of the Sandy Hook shootings. On the April 19th 2013 episode of SmackDown she was involved in a segment with Fandango, learning dance steps from Fandango and insulted by him.

Personal life[edit]

García was previously married, but has since divorced.[30] Garcia married her second husband, Chris, on September 28, 2009.[31]

García describes herself as a "military brat" as well as "La Española Boricua" (the female Puerto Rican Spaniard).[32] She is of Spanish/Puerto Rican descent.

García is fluent in English and Spanish.[1]

On March 17, 2007, García twisted her knee in heavy snow while skiing in Killington, Vermont, incurring a torn anterior cruciate ligament. She underwent surgery on her knee on April 5, 2007, in New York City under Dr. Armin Tehrany.[33] She returned to Raw on July 2.

García's first album, ¡Quiero Vivir!, was released on October 9, 2007.

On November 6, 2009, Garcia almost got robbed during the New York Yankees's 2009 World Series ticker-tape parade. Garcia said a "punk kid" came up to her and tried to steal her mobile phone. When Garcia wouldn't relinquish the phone, the assailant threw her to the ground and ran off. Garcia suffered a scraped elbow.[34]

On October 26, 2012, Lilian Garcia was struck by a car in L.A., causing multiple contusions and lacerations on the left side of her body. Doctors immobilized Garcia's neck, after which she was said to be in a stable condition. She returned on the December 5th edition of Main Event, returning to her job as a ring announcer full-time.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Lilián García – Biography". IMDb.
  2. ^ http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/profiles/l/lilian-garcia.html
  3. ^ http://www.accelerator3359.com/Wrestling/bios/garcia.html
  4. ^ a b Garcia, Lilian (2007-01-09). "Spain Blog". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2011-06-04. 
  5. ^ "LilianGarceeka.com » Blog Archive".
  6. ^ http://www.wrestlingdata.com/index.php?befehl=bios&wrestler=448
  7. ^ Sumter Daily Item dated July 9, 1983, stating Lilian Garcia's age of 16
  8. ^ a b Waldman, Jon (2005-05-25). "Divas don't all shine in Viva Las Divas". Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  9. ^ Lilian's corner
  10. ^ a b Medalis, K. (March 30, 2007). "Lilian Garcia, All Grown Up". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved April 7, 2007. 
  11. ^ Medalis, K. "Lilian Garcia, All Grown Up". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved March 31, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Lilian Garcia at MySpace Music".
  13. ^ Medalis, K. (October 9, 2007). "¡Quiero Vivir!' on sale today". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved March 31, 2011. 
  14. ^ Perry,C. (January 2004). "Lilian Garcia Interview 2004". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved March 31, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Lillian Garcia – Quiero Vivir! CD". CD Universe. Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  16. ^ "Diva Dish: Lilian’s big week". WWE. Retrieved 2007-09-28. 
  17. ^ Williams III, Ed (2006-01-13). "Lilian Garcia records duet with Jon Secada". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  18. ^ "Former WWE announcer Garcia ready to make music again". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2011-03-07. 
  19. ^ "Orton Talks New Movie (Video), Lilian Garcia News, More". SEScoops. 2011-03-01. Retrieved 2011-03-31-11. 
  20. ^ "Terry Funk Returns To WWE + Lillian At The Grammys". Wrestling Inc. 2011-02-13. Retrieved 2011-03-31-11. 
  21. ^ "Lilian Garcia Returns To Television, WrestleMania Ticket Sales, The Death Of ECW". Rajah. 2011-02-16. Retrieved 2011-03-31-11. 
  22. ^ Zimmerman, Christopher (1999-08-23). "RAW – 23 August 1999". Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  23. ^ Zimmerman, Christopher (2009-09-13). "RAW – 13 September 1999". Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  24. ^ "Smackdown – 13 September 2001". Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  25. ^ Tywalk, Nick (2005-06-28). "Raw: A return worthy of Hollywood". Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  26. ^ "Straight ahead to Backlash". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  27. ^ http://www.pwmania.com/newsarticle.php?page=273798868
  28. ^ http://www.wrestlinginc.com/wi/news/2010/0420/487260/lilian-garcia/
  29. ^ "Lilian Garcia discusses returning to WWE". 
  30. ^ Ross, Jim (2007-04-06). "Internet Rumors". Retrieved 2007-04-07. "I know that Lilian was married..." 
  31. ^ "Leaving". LilianGarcia.com. Retrieved 2009-06-28. 
  32. ^ www.thewrestlinganswer.com
  33. ^ Garcia update after surgery
  34. ^ http://www.prowrestling.net/artman/publish/WWE/article1008719.shtml

External links[edit]