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"Don't Cry for Me Argentina" is a song recorded by Julie Covington for the 1976 concept album Evita, later included in the 1978 musical of the same name. The song was written and composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice while they were researching the life of Argentine leader Eva Perón. It appears at the opening of the first and second acts, as well as near the end of the show, initially as the spirit of the dead Eva exhorting the people of Argentina not to mourn her, during Eva's speech from the balcony of the Casa Rosada, and during her final broadcast.
The Evita album had taken 3–4 months to record, since Rice was not satisfied with the intensity of the initial recordings. The song had a number of different titles before "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" was chosen as the final one. The song shares its melody with "Oh What a Circus" from the same show and lyrically consists of platitudes where Eva tries to win the favour of the people of Argentina. It was released in the United Kingdom on 12 November 1976 as the first single from the album, accompanied by national and trade advertising, full-colour posters, display sleeves as well as radio interviews.
The song reached number one on the UK Singles Chart and earned a gold certification from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), with over a million copies sold. It also reached the top of the charts in Australia, Belgium, Ireland, New Zealand and the Netherlands. "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" was critically appreciated, with Rice and Lloyd Webber winning the 1977 Ivor Novello award in the category of Best Song Musically and Lyrically. When Evita moved to a London theatre, Covington—who had become disenchanted with the whole project—refused to reprise the part of Eva, and the role went to Elaine Paige. "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" has been covered by multiple artists, including The Carpenters, Olivia Newton-John, and Sinéad O'Connor as well as actors Lea Michele and Chris Colfer from the TV series Glee.
In 1996, American singer Madonna played the title role in the film adaptation of the musical and recorded her rendition of "Don't Cry for Me Argentina". Released as the second single from the film soundtrack on 16 December 1996, her version received positive reviews from music critics who praised her vocal performance. A separate version called the "Miami Mix", which included re-recorded vocals in English and Spanish and an Argentinian bandoneon, was promoted to radio. Madonna's version reached number one on the European Hot 100 Singles chart and the national charts of the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, and Spain. It also became a top-ten hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 and many other charts worldwide, while attaining gold or platinum in six countries.