José José: Mexico's 'Prince of Song' dies aged 71

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Reuters

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José José received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2004

Popular Mexican singer José José, known as the “Prince of Song”, has died at the age of 71.

The culture ministry confirmed his death on Saturday, describing him as one of Mexico’s most-loved voices.

Known for his heartfelt ballads, José José’s career spanned five decades and he sold more than 120 million records. He received several Grammy nominations.

The crooner died at a hospital in South Florida following a battle with pancreatic cancer, media reports say.

The singer, songwriter and occasional actor, whose real name was José Rómulo Sosa Ortiz, rose to the top of the Latin charts in the 1970s with songs such as El Triste. He saw more commercial success in the 1980s, and the album Secrets, released in 1983, became his most popular.

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The Latin Recording Academy recognised him with a Musical Excellence Prize at the 2004 Latin Grammy awards, and he was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the same year.

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Reuters

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The singer first told fans he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2017

Tributes have poured in for the singer following his death, with fans in Mexico City gathering at his statue to lay wreaths and sing his songs. “It is sad, his passing,” Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told reporters.

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AFP

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Crowds gathered at the José José statue in Mexico City following the news of his death

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AFP

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Fans sang the crooner’s songs as they paid tribute to him