“A voice and a talent representing Mexico. His music, a legacy to the world. It’s gone very soon. May he rest in peace.” ~ Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto.
Juan Gabriel (1950-2016) wrote over 1,500 songs in a career spanning five decades. Here is just a sampling of the tunes that made him one of the most popular and beloved Mexican artists worldwide.
VIDEO: From Ciudad Juarez to Palacio de Bella Artes
As a part of a nationwide memorial this week, the ashes in of Juan Gabriel travelled from his hometown of Ciudad Juarez to Palacio de Bella Artes in Mexico City. It was a journey that very much reflected his early life.
“No Tengo Dinero (I have no money)” (1972)
“No Tengo Dinero” was the first single for Gabriel’s debut 1971 album El Alma Joven. It was an immediate hit – reaching number five on Mexico’s Billboard Charts. Prolific and flamboyant, he was a contant in Mexican pop culture until his death in 2016.
How better to describe a musician than through his music? Here are a couple dozen tunes our staff picked from different stages of Gabriel’s career.
En el Palacio de Bellas Artes (1990)
In 1990, at age 40, Juan Gabriel became the first non-classical performer to appear at el Palacio de Bellas Artes – Mexico’s premiere cultural center. His concerts there sold out, with profits from ticket and album sales going to charity.
“Yo Te Recuerdo” – Juan Gabriel w/ Marc Anthony (2016)
Gabriel’s influence in the pop world was both far and wide. Artists ranging from Paul Anka to Marc Anthony made hits for themselves by covering Gabriel’s music. Even towards the end of his life, Gabriel was working with younger artists.