Lila Downs Confronts Death and Celebrates Life For Dia de los Muertos
Lila Downs can already smell the copal incense burning from homes during strolls where she lives in Oaxaca, Mexico. The aroma signals to the songstress that Día de los Muertos is near and her neighbors are expecting spirits of the dead to soon arrive. The traditional celebration where offerings are made upon altars for loved ones lost dates back centuries in Mexico. But death came closer to Downs with the rampant violence in her country and doctors giving a grim prognosis for her husband Paul Cohen. "No matter where you go, you are confronted with the news which is very alarming and sad," Downs tells the Weekly by phone from Oaxaca. "At the same time, my personal life was affected by the possibility of losing my husband after 23 years together."
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