Argentine singer Diego Verdaguer dies of COVID-19 complications at 70

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Argentine singer-songwriter Diego Verdaguer, whose romantic hits such as "Corazón de papel," "Yo te amo" and "Volveré" sold almost 50 million copies, has died of complications from COVID-19, his family said Friday.

The naturalized Mexican-Argentine musician, who was married to singer Amanda Miguel, died Thursday afternoon in Los Angeles, his daughter Ana Victoria said in a statement released by Diam Music, Verdaguer's record company. He was 70.

"With absolute sadness, I regret to inform his fans and friends that today my father left his beautiful body to continue his path and creativity in another form of eternal life," said his daughter. "My mother, I and the whole family are immersed in this pain, so we appreciate your understanding in these difficult times."

Verdaguer's last message on social media, published Thursday night, was for his wife: "I will never get tired of dedicating to you! You are and always will be the thief who stole my heart," he wrote in Spanish.

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Verdaguer contracted COVID-19 in December and was hospitalized, according to the statement. His publicist in Mexico, Claudia López Ibarra, said he was vaccinated against the coronavirus.

"Yes, he was vaccinated ... but the virus attacked him in the U.S. when the delta variant was present," López Ibarra told The Associated Press in a text message Friday.

There had been speculation about whether the singer had been vaccinated or not given his wife's previous anti-vaccine statements.

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According to the publicist, Verdaguer frequently traveled to the United States, especially after the birth of Lucca, the eldest son of Ana Victoria, who lives in Los Angeles. The singer performed concerts in the U.S. and had a tour scheduled with Amanda Miguel for this year.

"We deeply regret the loss of #diegoverdaguer, we were together recently when they came to our concert in Los Angeles. A hug for @amandamiguels and her family," tweeted the Argentine singing duo Pimpinela in Spanish, alongside a group photo.

Verdaguer was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on April 26, 1951, and debuted as a soloist at the age of 17 with the single "Lejos del amor", which was followed by others such as "Yo te amo" and "Volveré."

Since 1980, he had lived in Mexico, a country to which he dedicated his album "Mexicano Hasta Las Pampas," which was nominated for two Latin Grammys, and its sequel, "Mexicano Hasta Las Pampas 2," as well as the live album "Mexicanísimos."

"I can tell you, I am more Mexican than anything," the artist said in an interview with the AP in 2019. "I love Mexico, I love what Mexico has meant in my life, I love the opportunities that Mexico has given me."

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Verdaguer met Miguel when she was 18 and he was 24. His daughter Ana Victoria, who is also a singer, was born in 1983.

"Amanda Miguel has been my inspiration since I met her," Verdaguer told the AP. "I really appreciate everything we've done together as a couple, as artists, as individuals."

In 2019, Verdaguer was recognized by the Mexican Society of Authors and Composers with a special award for his 50-year career. In recent years, Verdaguer made the leap to streaming and accumulated more than 2 million followers on social networks.

"You have to evolve spiritually and understand the meaning of life," Verdaguer told the AP. "We came to live a divine experience, we came to learn, we came to give ourselves, we came to perfect ourselves, we came to give, we came to help, because giving and helping one feels better."

No details about Verdaguer's funeral were released.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Diego Verdaguer, Argentine singer, dies of COVID complications at 70