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Juan Gabriel: Courtesy artist's Twitter

Juarez’s Favorite Son, Singer Juan Gabriel, Dies in California

Singer Juan Gabriel, Juarez’s favorite son who went on to world-wide fame, has died in Santa Monica, California. Officials say he died of a heart attack.

Gabriel had performed Friday and Saturday night in Los Angeles and was scheduled to perform Sunday night in El Paso.

Gabriel, who was lovingly known as ‘The Divo of Juarez’ was still very active, touring the Americas and bringing his songs to fans all across the hemisphere.

The life and times of the beloved singer were recently made into a 13 episode TV series on Telemundo; the show was after one of Gabriel’s hits, ‘Hasta Que Te Conocí (Until I Met You)’ followed his journey from Juarez through his rise to fame.

Photo courtesy: Ticketmaster
Photo courtesy: Ticketmaster

Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto, tweeted Sunday afternoon that Gabriel was “gone way too soon” and that his music and talent represented the best of Mexico.

Mexico’s former President, Vicente Fox shared, “Today Mexico has lost one of its stars. Rest in peace, Juan Gabriel, a great friend, great artist and wonderful human being.”

Just last year, Gabriel was in Juarez, as the city unveiled a mural in Downtown honoring his career and his deep roots in the city.

He performed a concert at the new ‘X’ monument in Juarez, in front of a crowd estimated at over 100,000 attendees.

His new tour, called “MeXXIco Es Todos” (XXI symbolizing the 21st century) was to make the rounds this fall in over 20 U.S. cities including Miami, Los Angeles and Chicago.

According to Gabriel’s career bio for his upcoming tour, his accomplishments were lengthy:

Before Gabriel was “the divo of Juarez,” he was a poor orphan on the streets of Juarez. His 1971 breakout hit was actually titled “No Tengo Dinero” (I Have No Money). It would be impossible to list all the hits that followed, as Gabriel has over 1,500 songwriting credits to his name, including “Querida,” “Amor Eterno” and “Hasta Que Te Conoci.” He’s released upwards of 50 albums, selling over 20 million copies and has produced 100 more albums for everyone from Paul Anka to Lucha Villa.

Born January 7, 1950 in Paracuaro, Michoacan, Mexicohis mother and siblings moved to Juarez, where she became a housekeeper. Gabriel spend his formative years in Juarez, and was virtually adopted as a native son of the city; Gabriel returned countless times to Juarez throughout his life and embraced the community as well.

The 66 year-old won countless awards and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Officials have not announced any information about services or memorials, however in a live report via Univision, there was word that his body may be transferred back to Juarez.

 A Mexican Government Official also said a ‘very large’ memorial service would be set for Gabriel in Mexico City.

*** Editor’s note: A previous version of this story listed Juan Gabriel as a native-born resident of Juarez, the article has been corrected to include his original place of birth.

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14 comments

  1. Ricardo Bautista

    It’s Juan Gabriel, or even Juanga… not just Gabriel. If you have any clue of who he was or how famous he was, you’d know better than to just call him Gabriel.

    • According to the Associated Press Style Guide, after the first complete reference of a person, subsequent references to that person can start with his or her last name. There is no disrespect or slight implied, it is simply how persons are identified in writing.

      Here is a link and a quote from the guide. “Use a person’s first and last name the first time he or she is mentioned. On second reference, use only last name with no title.” (https://www.codot.gov/business/grants/safetygrants/documents/APStyleGuideCheatSheet.pdf)

      Thank you for your comment.

      • His last name wasn’t Gabriel. His artistic name was Juan Gabriel. No reason to refer to him simply as Gabriel.

      • I understand what you are saying, but you are wrong in this instance. Him being so close to this city and all, writing your article, it kind of is offensive in a weird local way. I read your article and thought, this guy is writing an article about a person he has no clue about. It’s about writing a sincere article that people can read and relate to I guess. Maybe it’s just the El Paso in me or “an El Paso thing” it just rubbed me the wrong way when I read your article, the fact that you felt a need to prove me wrong shows me that you don’t “get it” but you get an E for effort.

        • Obviously you are feeling his loss very strongly, and this article may not touch on all of what you feel needs to be told; in the coming days you will see those stories told. That being said, I am not trying to convince you of anything other than the fact that this story – as do all our stories – have to adhere to the professional journalistic standards set forth and have to inform a large audience that may know much about the subject (as in your case) or not be familiar with him at all, and sometimes this may read as impersonal or distant. Again, thank you for your comments.

    • This is TRUE! They are selling BEAUTIFUL Juan Gabriel Bookmarks on eBay!

  2. Michael Sterling

    Gracias, querido Juan Gabriel – a pesar de que creció en lados opuestos de la frontera, cuando vi por primera vez en concierto, me sentí como hermanos reunidos. Eso era algo que hacía mejor – unir a las personas. Resucitaste el peor en la vida, para mostrarnos lo que es mejor en la vida, en el amor y en nosotros mismos. Estoy eternamente agradecido a mi mujer latina para la introducción de nosotros. Descanse en paz mi querido hermano!

    Thank you, dear Juan Gabriel – though we grew up on opposite sides of the border, when I first saw you in concert, I felt like brothers reunited. That was one thing you did best – unite people. You rose the worst in life, to show us what is best in life, in love and in ourselves. I am forever grateful to my Latina wife for introducing us. Rest in peace my dear brother! Michael, Alamogordo, NM

  3. I am musician. I never heard about this singer in Uruguay, Argentina or Chile. Its an old mistake to call Latin Music talking about a certain homogeny tipe of music related to all Latin America. Mexican Mariachi music, are not famous at the south part of South America. Believe me. I understand he was famous in Mexico, but…..absolutely unknown in certain countries in South America.

    • Latin American countries are comprived of quite a few countries in themselves. So the fact that only a minuscule amount of countries do not know about him doesn’t show much at all except lack of culture for the minority. His music was translated in English, Portuguese, German, French, Russian and even Japanese. Those southern countries don’t know much about his (many different types of) music -not just mariachi, because they choose not to; not because he wasn’t there. If many other (non-Latin) countries choose to know about real talented music, it’s because they can see what a ‘worth-while’ culture is about & want to expand their horizon. They are simply smarter in life just for having known about Juan Gabriel. He wasn’t just a singer and song-writer of over 1,500 songs, but he was an actor as well and he was always in front of the media. So the fact that only a few select people don’t know about him, doesn’t show to well about them. I would be concerned about displaying my lack of knowledge about something or someone that big to prevent myself from seeming so ignorant. I would be downright embarrassed…especially coming from a Latin American country. I understand that the Spanish language is not spoken in every country, and every culture is different, but if people can make the time to know about Madonna, Elvis and Michael Jackson, who all came from America, and are known all over the world, then people can also do their best to enrich their lives with art and learning about a beautiful music culture that was help started by him among others- ahem, Pedro Infante, Jose Alfredo Jimenez.

      • Correction : comprived = typo; meant to say comprised.

      • Ricardo Bautista

        Denisse Levy….. I honestly loved your post, very good points and we’ll thought out. I was thinking the same thing when I read the Uruguay guys post…… how could you not know or ever heard of Juan Gabriel! Unfortunately those people do exist… I have a coworker who is from Mexico and had never heard of Julio Jaramillo. Thanks for your input Denisse, I enjoyed it.

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