Mexican superstar Juan Gabriel dies

Latin America

FILE – In this April 10, 2015, file photo, Mexican singer Juan Gabriel performs at the National Auditorium in Mexico City. The press office for Mexican superstar Gabriel says the singer has died at age 66. The statement says he died Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016, but does not say where. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

Hundreds of fans of Mexican singer Juan Gabriel, a musical icon across Latin America for more than 40 years, gathered on Sunday (August 28) outside the home where he lived for much of his young life, in the border city of Ciudad Juarez.

CCTV America’s Franc Contreras reports.

Mexican superstar Juan Gabriel dies

Mexican superstar Juan Gabriel dies

Hundreds of fans of Mexican singer Juan Gabriel, a musical icon across Latin America for more than 40 years, gathered on Sunday (August 28) outside the home where he lived for much of his young life, in the border city of Ciudad Juarez. CCTV America’s Franc Contreras reports.
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Broadcaster Televisa reported that Gabriel died on Sunday of a heart attack at age 66.

Fans of the icon stood outside his former home, a colonial building located in the historic area of the city, to lay flowers and cards with messages of farewell, even though it rained.

A Mariachi band played some of his famous hits. Visibly moved, fan, Camila Suarez, lamented the passing.

“The loss of our beloved Juan Gabriel is regrettable. A performer from our city. An international performer. All of us in Juarez love him very much and unfortunately he died today and the people who love him are here to honour him, our Juan Gabriel, our performer,” Suarez said.

The crowd sang in unison while holding mobile phones and posters.

The prolific songwriter and performer, who was known for his powerful love ballads, died in Santa Monica, California, Televisa reported. He was due to sing at a concert in El Paso, Texas, later on Sunday.

Gabriel, whose real name was Alberto Aguilera, was born in 1950 into a poor family in the western Mexican state of Michoacan and rose to sell millions copies of his albums and have his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Gabriel, entertained generations of Latin Americans with his energetic performances of songs such as “Querida” and “Amor Eterno” in glittering mariachi outfits.

Born as Alberto Aguilera on January 7, 1950 in a family of farmers in the western state of Michoacan, he lived much of his childhood in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, where he began his career.

He adopted the name “Juan Gabriel” in honour of a school teacher and his father, who died when he was little.

In his lyrics, Juan Gabriel expressed in complicated verse the sentiments of the general public. The news of his death has shocked politicians, artists and intellectuals alike.

Story by the Reuters.