King of Mexican Rodeo dead

LOS ANGELES: Iconic musician Joan Sebastian, who rose from a poverty-stricken childhood in rural Mexico to become one of the most recorded contemporary acts of all time, has died following more than 15 years battling bone cancer. He was 64.

The five-time Grammy Award winner passed away at his ranch in Juliantla, Guerrero, Mexico on July 13, reported the Bill-board magazine.

A representative of Universal Music Latin Entertainment-Fonovisa confirmed the death of the musician, who was one of Mexico’s most well-loved ballad singers.

Born Jose Manuel Figueroa, the Secreto de Amor hitmaker had fought cancer since 1999. After being diagnosed with the disease, he was told he had gone into remission on numerous occasions, informing fans he was fighting cancer for a fourth time last year.

In April, it was confirmed the singer had been hospitalised as he received treatment following months of speculation about his ailing health.

Best known for his sentimental love songs such as Secreto de Amor and Tatuajes, he released more than 50 albums during his career which spanned over 40 years. Also known as ‘El Rey del Jaripeo’ — the King of Mexican Rodeo — Sebastian would frequently perform on horseback.