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Mexican Superstar Juan Gabriel has died


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Extraordinary composer, singer, performer, producer, even movie actor Juan Gabriel has died, at the age of 66, from an apparent heart attack.  He was probably the most influential figure in Mexican music in the last 40 years or so.  He has written many classics, in all genres, and has been covered by many artists in the Spanish language world.

 

After a troubled childhood, which included some time in an orphanage, he burst onto the music scene in Mexico in the early 1970s, having hits from his first recordings.  His success and looks made him a pop idol,and he starred in several (rather poor) movies in the 70s and early 80s.  His flamboyant concert performances and constumes, and soft manners and voice led to rampant  rumors of his sexuality since at least the early 80s.   In the end, he became a much beloved writer of many standards, for himself and others.  

 

He was well known for the aforementioned concert performances, dancing and spinning in glittering capes onstage.  Besides his private life, he was criticized for his weight gain.  He fell off the stage during a performance some ten years ago, and suffered a bad injury.  A couple of years ago, during a stint in Las Vegas, he cancelled due to ailing health.  He resumed performing,and in fact, played here in the L.A. area this past Friday.    

 

If any song is appropriate at this point, it is his classic lament he wrote for his deceased mother, "Amor Eterno", which never fails to bring tears when played at funerals.  RIP.  You will be missed by millions.

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