José José, a Mexican icon known as “The Prince of Song,” has died. He was 71.
“We are sorry for the passing of singer José Rómulo Sosa, better known as José José of the prince of the song,” the Mexican Ministry of Culture tweeted on Saturday. “Since the beginning of his career, the singer of El Triste became one of the most beloved voices in Mexico. Rest in Peace.”
The singer, who confirmed he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2017, died from the disease at a hospital in Florida, multiple outlets reported.
Born José Rómulo Sosa Ortiz, the singer made a name for himself in 1970, when he performed “El Triste” at the Festival de la Canción Latina, according to CNN. His most successful album, Secretos was released in 1984.
Over the course of his career, José José sold millions of albums and was a six-time Grammy Award nominee for best Latin pop performance. He was awarded a lifetime achievement award in 2004 by the Latin Recording Academy, which also named him person of the year in 2005.
Throughout his life, the star also battled substance abuse, Lyme disease and facial paralysis, according to The Los Angeles Times.
The singer is survived by his wife Sara Salazar and children Sarita Sosa, José Joel and Marisol, CNN reported.
Following news of the singers’ death, many of his friends and former collaborators mourned his passing.
“He squeezed our hearts with his unmistakable voice and left an indelible mark on the world of music … Rest in peace, José José,” wrote singer Gloria Estefan. “Thank you very much for your beautiful songs and your musical legacy that will live forever!”
“There are few who have your voice, your people skills and your sense of humor,” Jane the Virgin star Jaime Camil, who worked with the singer in Mexico’s Ugly Betty series, wrote in another tribute. “Today it hurts so much.. You’ll always be in our heart.”
Paul Anka, who recorded a dual-language version of his 1973 song “Let Me Get To Know You,“ with José José, added, “My friend José José left this earth today. In honor of my friend, here’s our song. Rest In Peace.”
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said he was sad to hear of José José’s death.
“He was an extraordinary singer from an era that, with his songs and his romanticism, made a lot of people from my generation cry and be happy,” Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador told reporters, according to the BBC.