Juan Gabriel dead at 66; he was Mexican music icon

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Latin American music icon Juan Gabriel has died, according to sources close to the family and to Mexico’s news agency Notimex.

Los Angeles County Coroner spokeswoman Selena Barros told CNN Juan Gabriel died from natural causes at 11:30 a.m. Sunday in Santa Monica, California.

He performed at The Forum in Los Angeles on Friday night. On Sunday he was scheduled to sing at a concert in El Paso, Texas.

Juan Gabriel, whose legal name was Alberto Aguilera Valadez, was 66. He sold more than 100 million records during his career, according to his website.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said in a tweet: “We lament the death of Juan Gabriel, one of the biggest musical icons of our country. My condolences to his family and friends.” He added, “A voice and a talent that represented Mexico. His music is a legacy to the world. He left us too soon. May he rest in peace.”

Known to his fans as El Divo de Juarez, Juan Gabriel led Billboard magazine’s Top Latin Albums charts five times between 2016 and 2015. “More leaders than any other artist in that span of time,” according to Billboard.

In his 40-year career, he was best known for his soulful ballads and romantic rancheras. His classic hits include “Querida,” “Porqué me haces llorar?” “El Noa Noa” and “Hasta que te conocí.”

CNN’s Jaqueline Hurtado and CNN Español contributed to this report.

By Mayra Cuevas

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