Mexican Star Juan Gabriel Dies At 66 Of Heart Attack

Juan Gabriel
Juan Gabriel. Via YouTube.

Mexican singer Juan Gabriel, who had relaunched his career and was on the biggest tour of his career, has died at the age off 66 from a heart attack.

Gabriel died on Sunday, in the middle of the U.S. leg of his MeXXico Es Todos tour.

Fans and media outlets have long alluded to him being gay, but he has only addressed the question once formally, telling a Univision reporter “lo que se ve, no se pregunta” (“don’t ask about something that is obvious”).

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“His music was his legacy for the world,” Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said on Twitter. “He left us too soon.”

President Obama released a statement saying his spirit would live on through his fans.

“My father’s untimely passing is a tragic loss for all of us, his family, colleagues, and fans alike,” his son, Ivan Aguilera, said in a statement from the family. “We give heartfelt thanks for the outpouring of condolences we have received from around the world including from President Enrique Pena Nieto. We know that our father will miss entertaining his countless fans, who brought him tremendous joy in life.”

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In 2015, Billboard listed Gabriel as one of the “30 Most Influential Latin Artists of All Time” citing his “dramatic performance style” and that he “defined romantic Latin pop.” They inducted him into their Billboard Latin Music Hall of Fame in 1996.

The six-time Grammy nominee has sold millions of albums and also has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He performed for thousands at the Los Angeles Forum just days before his death.

juan gabriel
Juan Gabriel’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Via Cindy on Flickr, CC 2.0.

Gabriel was born Alberto Aguilera Valadez, the son of a farmer in Parácuaro, Mexico. When his father was sent to a psychiatric hospital and his mother was unable to care for him on her own, he was sent to an orphanage.

Last week, his new album, Vestido de Etiqueta: Por Eduardo Magallanes, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart and Telemundo is set to begin airing a TV series based on his life, according to The Hollywood Reporter.