Remembering Héctor Lavoe

The 18th anniversary of Héctor Lavoe's passing was this past June 29, 2011. On the anniversary of his passing, I wrote:


Sept. 30, 1946 in Ponce, Puerto Rico.
Died: June 29, 1993 in New York City

Today is the 18th anniversary of the death of el cantante de los cantantes, el rey de la puntualidad, Héctor Juan Pérez Martínez, Héctor Lavoe.

Although his life was essentially an open book, full of aspirations, success, heartbreak and tragedy, many aspects of his life remain an enigma today, 18 years after his death. Héctor Lavoe died on June 29, 1993.

Héctor's talent took him from his hometown of Ponce, Puerto Rico to the flashing limelight of the Big Apple: New York. His initial New York fans had discovered a voice that celebrated their bi-cultural identity; while his success was a source of tremendous pride back home in Puerto Rico.

The cost of this success, coupled with unimaginable tragedy, would ultimately prove to be too much for Héctor. Even though his brother had died from a drug overdose, Héctor's battle to overcome his shy and insecure nature led to an analogous struggle with drugs.

Indeed, tragedy seemed to be Héctor Lavoe's constant companion: a home destroyed by fire, the murder of his mother-in-law, a brutal beating during an a robbery, the accidental shooting and death of his son. These tragedies would ultimately lead to a nervous breakdown and a failed suicide attempt; which would leave his body wrecked. Lavoe died, much too young, at the age of 46, reportedly penniless and reportedly of AIDS.

On this, the 18th anniversary of his death, we celebrate his voice; which keeps him alive and well in the hearts and minds of his dedicated fans.

¡Gracias, Héctor, por dedicarnos tus mejores pregones!

Tu fanático acérrimo,
El Caobo​

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