Mexico Says Adios to Its Star Musician
Juan Gabriel died Sunday in California
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2016 2:01 PM CDT
Shrink
A memorial of flowers and candles surround the Hollywood star of Mexican superstar Juan Gabriel on Monday.   (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – Juan Gabriel, Mexico's top-selling artist, died peacefully at his home in Santa Monica, Calif., on Sunday of an apparent heart attack, per the BBC. He was 66. Though not all were familiar with his music, his songs were like hymns to many in Latin America and beyond, reports the New York Times. More coverage:

  • Rolling Stone describes his "rags to riches" story: Born Alberto Aguilera Valadez, the youngest of 10 children, he was sent to an orphanage at age four and later sold tortillas on the street before rising to fame.
  • The Los Angeles Times describes how he became "an icon in Mexico's gay subculture," though he never actually spoke openly about his sexuality.

  • CNN lays out five things to know about the superstar, including the fact that he was a huge inspiration to Marc Anthony.
  • Billboard has a list of the best songs and albums from Gabriel, who had the highest-grossing Latin tour last year, while NPR points to three fantastic songs and one "masterpiece."
  • On Twitter, Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto describes Gabriel as "one of the great musical icons of our country," while Barack Obama says "his music sounds like home."
  • E! rounds up more reactions, calling Gabriel's death "one of the saddest moments in the world of Latin music."