Mexican pop icon Juan Gabriel died Sunday morning of natural causes at his home in California, CNN and other outlets reported. He was 66.
For more than four decades, Gabriel, whose real name was Alberto Aguilera Valadez, presided over the world of Latin pop music as one of its most colorful and successful characters. Less than a week ago, Billboard reported, the artist saw his album Vestido de Etiqueta: Por Eduardo Magallanes reach the top of Billboard’s Latin albums chart — his fifth record to do so. In 1996 he was inducted into the Billboard Latin Music Hall of Fame, and has reportedly sold 100 million albums throughout his career.
Gabriel’s family issued a statement on Sunday describing his death as “untimely.”
Many have expressed their condolences on Twitter, among them Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who said: “I regret the death of Juan Gabriel, one of the great musical icons of our country. My condolences to his relatives and friends,” in a translation by the Guardian.
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