Dámaso Pérez Prado (December 11, 1916 – September 14, 1989) was a Cuban bandleader, musician (singer, organist and pianist), and composer. He is often referred to as the King of the Mambo. Pérez was actually his surname, so Dámaso Pérez, his true name, but he became known by the paternal and maternal surnames "Pérez Prado."
His orchestra was the most popular in mambo. His son, Pérez Prado, Jr., continues to direct the Pérez Prado Orchestra in Mexico City to this day.
Perez is the composer of such famous pieces as Mambo No. 5 (later a UK chart-topper for both Lou Bega in 1999 and animated character Bob the Builder in 2001) and Mambo No. 8. At the height of the mambo movement, in 1955, Perez hit the American charts at number one with a cha-cha version of "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White" (composed by French composer Louiguy). This arrangement, featuring trumpeter Billy Regis, held the spot for 10 consecutive weeks. The song also went to number one in the UK and in Germany. Perez had first covered this title for the movie Underwater! in 1954, where Jane Russell can be seen dancing to Cherry Pink.
In 1958 one of Perez's own compositions, Patricia, became the last record to ascend to #1 on the Jockeys and Top 100 charts, both of which gave way the following week to the then newly-introduced Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song also went to number one in Germany, and in the UK it reached number eight.