Superstar singer and songwriter Juan Gabriel from Mexico, who was a Latin music world icon, died on Sunday in his Santa Monica, California home aged 66, said his publicist.
Gabriel was the top selling artist and singer songwriter in Mexico. His ballads relating to love and heartbreak as well as his mariachi tunes were highly popular across all of Latin America, Spain and with people who spoke Spanish in the U.S.
He made thousands of fans tear up when they would sing along as he crooned song after song about love as well as heartbreak. His biggest hit Querida or Dear was on top of music charts across Mexico for a full year.
Juan Gabriel was flamboyant when he performed. He liked to use jackets that were covered with sequins or in shiny outfits of silk in turquoise blue, canary yellow or hot pink.
He was also known to toss his head prior to jumping or dancing on stage.
No details were released on Gabriel’s death. His publicist Arturo de la Mora said that the singer died on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. at home and that at a later time his family would be providing an official statement.
His final concert took place Friday night in Inglewood, California at the Forum and he had been scheduled to perform in El Paso, Texas on Sunday.
Enrique Pena Nieto the President of Mexico said via his account on Twitter that he regretted the deal of Gabriel who was one of the greatest icons in music for the country.
Juan Gabriel was a Grammy nominee six times, inducted in 1996 to the Latin Music Hall of Fame and received many industry awards that included Songwriter of the Year by the ASCAP in 1995 and was given his own star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood in 2009.
He was born January 7, 1050 and wrote a song for the first time when just 13. He composed over 1,500 songs during his lifetime.
Artists in the U.S. and across Latin America covered many songs he wrote including Marc Anthony and Paul Anka. Anthony broke into the world of salsa music in the U.S. thanks to Gabriel’s song Hasta Que Te Conoci.
He was the youngest of 10 children born in Michoacan. His father was a farmer and his mother a homemaker.
His family moved to Ciudad Juarez along the border with the U.S. when Gabriel was just an infant after losing contact with his father.
He spent much of his childhood living in an orphanage, as his mother could not care for him.
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