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Juan Gabriel
Juan Gabriel in 2006.jpg
Background information
Birth name Alberto Aguilera Valadez
Also known as Adan Luna, Juan Gabriel, Juanga, El divo de Juárez
Born (1950-01-07)7 January 1950
Parácuaro, Michoacán, Mexico
Origin Lake Jackson, Texas, U.S.
Died August 28, 2016(2016-08-28) (aged 66)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Genres Mariachi
Latin Pop / Mexican pop
Occupation(s) singer, composer
Years active 1971-2016
Labels Universal Music, BMG, RCA Records

Alberto Aguilera Valadez (January 7, 1950 – August 28, 2016), better known by his stage name Juan Gabriel , was a Mexican singer, songwriter and actor. Also nicknamed as Juanga and El Divo de Juárez, Gabriel was known for his flamboyant style, which broke barriers within the Latin music market. Widely considered one of the best and most prolific Mexican composers and singers of all time, he has been called a pop icon.

Having sold over 200 million copies worldwide, Juan Gabriel was among Latin America's best selling singer-songwriters. His nineteenth studio album, Recuerdos, Vol. II, is reportedly the best-selling album of all time in Mexico, with over eight million copies sold. During his career, Juan Gabriel wrote around 1,800 songs, all of them performed by him and many other artists.


Juan Gabriel en Iquique.cropped
Juan Gabriel 2012

On August 28, 2016, it was reported that Gabriel died from a heart attack earlier that day in Santa Monica, California. Gabriel's body was cremated; his ashes were laid to rest at a house he owned in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, after receiving tributes from the city and Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. An autopsy was not performed to determine the cause of death.

His death became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter after news reports were confirmed. President of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto, called him one of Mexico's "greatest musical icons". United States President Barack Obama also commented on Gabriel's death and complimented his music for "transcending borders and generations" and that "his spirit will live on in his enduring songs, and in the hearts of the fans who love him".

Legacy and impact

Juan Gabriel --- Pepsi Center --- 09.26.14 (15367329711)
Juan Gabriel 2914

Gabriel did 10 to 12 performances per year as benefit concerts for his favorite children's homes, usually posing for pictures with his fans and forwarding the proceeds from the photo ops to support Mexican orphans. In 1987, he founded Semjase, a house for orphaned and underserved children located in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. It serves school children between the ages of 6 to 12.

In 2015, Billboard listed Gabriel among his list of the 30 most influential Latino artists in history, citing his "dramatic performance style" and his redefined concept of romantic Latin pop music.

In 1986, Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley declared October 5 Juan Gabriel day.

He received the Lo Nuestro Excellence Award in 1991.

In 1996, he was inducted into the Billboard Latin Music Hall of Fame, while in 2003 he was inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame, and posthumously inducted into the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame on October 2016.

Homenaje popular a Juan Gabriel en la Plaza Garibaldi, Ciudad de México - 6
Juan Gabriel sculpture. Plaza Garibaldi, Mexico City

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) honored Gabriel the Latin Songwriter of the Year Award in 1995, 1996, and 1998.

In 1999, Gabriel received the People's Choice Awards for Best Regional Artist. That same year, he received the La Opinión Tributo Nacional for Lifetime Achievement Award.

A statue was erected by Billboard at Mexico City's Plaza Garibaldi in 2001, and remains a popular destination for mariachi performances.

In 2009, the singer was honored as the Latin Recording Academy's Person of the Year. He also received his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in May 2002.

A television series based on Gabriel's life titled Hasta que te conocí, began airing on April 18, 2016 and the series ended on August 28, coincidentally the same day Gabriel died. He was portrayed by Colombian actor Julián Román and Gabriel served as the executive producer.

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