Published: Thu, September 01, 2016
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

Juan Gabriel, Mexican superstar singer-songwriter, has died

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.

"Rest in peace our Juan Gabriel", read a cardboard.

In his lyrics, Juan Gabriel expressed in complicated verse the sentiments of the general public. While trying to break into the music business, he moved to Mexico City and slept on the streets and in train stations, the Los Angeles Times reports. Gabriel, whose legal name was Alberto Aguilera Valadez, was inducted into Billboard's Latin Music Hall of Fame in 1996.

Gabriel performed a two-hour set at the Los Angeles Forum Friday night as part of his "MeXXico Es Todo Tour". "I was good writing songs, but I was innocent for many other things and when I ended up in jail I didn't know how to defend myself", he told La Jornada. There he met his mentor, Juan Contreras, according to the AP.

Born in Paracuaro, Michoacan, Juan Gabriel transcended Mexico with his music and his personality, capturing the hearts of Hispanics and non-Hispanics alike. The teenager ended up in jail, accused of robbery, but the jail director and his wife helped free him. We lost one of the biggest and most talented artists of all time.

His former personal secretary, Joaquin Munoz, claimed they were a gay couple at one point in the book "Juan Gabriel and I". He signed his first record contract in 1971. His soulful ballads and romantic rancheras included "Querida", "Porqué me haces llorar?"

"Gabriel ended the spectacular with his iconic song 'El noa noa, ' getting the entire audience on their feet and dancing along with him and his dancers", reads Billboard's review of the concert.

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