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Legendary Mexican musician Juan Gabriel has died at the age of 66. Gabriel’s publicist confirmed to the Associated Press that the singer-songwriter passed away in Los Angeles on Sunday, reportedly after suffering a heart attack.
At the time of his passing, Gabriel was amidst a 22-city arena tour in support of his latest album, and had just played a show at the LA Forum on Friday night.
Gabriel was known for his flamboyant performance style, often wearing brightly sequins-covered outfits and dancing joyously across the stage during famously lengthy concerts. But even with his live prowess, it was the six-time Grammy nominee’s music that made him a true legend. Known for his easy mix of pop and mariachi balladry and dance numbers, Gabriel has the distinction of being the highest-selling Mexican artist of all time, moving over 100 million albums. 1984’s Recuerdos, Vol. II alone sold over eight million copies and remains the best-selling record in Mexican history. His song “Yo no se que me paso” topped the Hot Latin Songs chart when it was inaugurated on October 4th, 1986.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto remarked on Gabriel’s passing via his Twitter account: “We lament the death of Juan Gabriel, one of the biggest musical icons of our country. My condolences to his family and friends.” He added, “A voice and a talent that represented Mexico. His music is a legacy to the world. He left us too soon. May he rest in peace.”