Juan Gabriel has passed away

To the non-Latino community this is pretty much a “who?—so what?” type of event. But trust me—to the Latino music world this would be on a par with somebody Like Springsteen or Elton John dying. Even more so in a way, because even at the age of 66 he was still active in his career. When I was teaching myself Spanish about 15 years ago, I had a lot of his songs memorized and sang along to the lyrics whenever they would play on the radio at work. Querida (beloved) was his most famous and heavily-played song, and even to this day I remember all the lyrics and am singing them to myself right now.

Oh Christ—how mortifying—I misspelled his name. Would a mod please fix?

When I lived in Mexico in the 1990s, I told folks he reminded me of Liberace. Same kind of adoration, too, from little old ladies who though he was the nicest man, and that he couldn’t possibly be, you know, gay.

(I hope that didn’t sound like I was downplaying his major contribution to Latin culture – there really is no equivalent in the English speaking world, and thanks to the OP for posting about this.)

Yes, I’ve known quite a few Latinos who become very indignant at the mere insinuation that he was gay.

I will miss him.