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Charo Says She ‘Was the First’ Star to Begin the First Name Only Trend (Exclusive)

Charo Says She Was the First Star to Begin the First Name Only Trend
Charo Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for Project Angel Food's Lead with Love 5

Charo doesn’t exactly live by the philosophy of less is more — unless it’s about her name, of course.

“I have lived by many different names,” Charo, 73, exclusively told Us Weekly while supporting Project Angel Food’s Lead With Love fundraiser on Saturday, June 22. “I use Charo because my name is longer than a serpent and then Madonna and Cher and everyone did it, but I was the first one!”

Charo — who was born María Rosario Pilar Martínez Molina Baeza — is a Spanish-born actress, singer, comedian, and flamenco guitarist who rose to international fame in the 1960s. These days, the beloved performer is preparing to star in a fall production of Fiddler on the Roof and has no plans of slowing down.

“I think retire is a four-letter word. I have many offers to do a documentary,” she explained before sharing her immediate summer plans. “[I’m doing] some travel and working on a couple of other projects that will be out next year.”

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She also is enjoying her new title of grandmother. While her 20-month-old grandson stays off of her social media pages, Charo said she is “so smitten and I think he knows that already.” (The artist shares son Shel Rasten with late husband Kjell Rasten.)

While it’s far too early to know what he may be interested in when he grows up, Charo would support her grandson if he wanted to enter the entertainment industry. “I think every person has their own dreams and it’s your job as a parent or a grandparent to be a cheerleader,” she said while wearing a “tiny, weeny, Chiquito” dress for the charity event. “I will support whatever he wants and just cheerlead him all the way!”

As her schedule remains booked and busy, Charo continues to use her platform for good. Over the weekend, she traveled to Los Angeles to help raise funds for Project Angel Food during their 5th anniversary special.

The nonprofit prepares and delivers more than 1.5 million medically tailored meals each year to homes of men, women and children affected by life-threatening illnesses at no charge.

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As part of the live telethon, which raised more than $820,000, Charo offered to give a special live performance from the KTLA 5 studios.

“Good people doing good things for good people is why I’m here,” Charo explained. “People need specially designed meals and I don’t think there’s any other program like this in Los Angeles.”

With reporting by Patrick Stinson 

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