MIAMI (AP) — Miami, the second home to legendary Mexican crooner José José, mourned the iconic artist on Sunday by gathering several hundreds of his fans at a closed casket wake with his family.
Known as the “Prince of Song,” José Rómulo Sosa Ortiz died eight days ago in Miami at age 71. The singer had been battling pancreatic cancer.
The artist’s youngest daughter Sarita Sosa thanked Miamians for embracing her dad when he first arrived decades ago, saying he was brought back to life in Florida.
“May his music never die, please,” she said, holding back tears. “Thank you for coming. You are our family. All of Miami, thank you.”
José José rose to stardom in 1970 with his hit “El Triste” or “The Sad One,” and became well-known across Latin America in the 1980s with his best-selling album “Secrets,” a collaboration with Spanish composer and producer Manuel Alejandro.
But the Mexican singer struggled with substance abuse and depression. Following the 1993 separation from Mexican model Anel Noreña, he began sleeping in a taxi on the outskirts of the Mexican capital before friends intervened and took him to an addiction treatment center in the U.S.
The artist remarried in 1995 to a Cuban-American woman named Sarita Salazar, and the couple had Sarita Sosa the following year.