Photo: Jennifer Lourie / FilmMagic
Armando Manzanero, one of the most influential and prolific songwriters in Latin America, passed away on December 28, according to CNN. He was 85 and was admitted to hospital earlier this month after testing positive for COVID-19. His family told the Mexican newspaper El Universal that he would be extubated in the coming days, after his lung health had improved, but he then died of a cardiac arrest. Manzanero wrote more than 600 songs during his lifetime, according to the Mexican Association of Authors and Composers, of which he served until his death as president. His songs have been performed by icons of Latin music such as Luis Miguel, along with singers including Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Dionne Warwick and Andrea Bocelli. He was an integral part of Luis Miguel’s iconic Romance album series, writes many of the songs and serves as music director across the projects. He also recorded his own music and won a Latin Grammy for his duet album Duetos.
Manzanero’s impact on Latin music, especially romantic “bolero” songs, was widely recognized during his lifetime. He received Lifetime Achievement Awards from both the Latin Grammys in 2010 and the Grammys in 2014. Earlier this year, the Billboard Latin Music Awards awarded him a Lifetime Achievement Award, with musicians such as Luis Fonsi and Pablo Alborán making a variety of hits as Manzanero performed. accompanied on piano.
In a statement written in Spanish, the Association of Writers and Composers said, “The romantic soul of Mexico and the world is in mourning,” according to Billboard‘s translation. The Latin Recording Academy, which awards the Latin Grammys, called Manzanero’s death is an irreparable loss to the world of Latin music. ‘And Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador addressed Manzanero’s death at a CNN press conference. ‘Armando Manzanero was a sensitive man, a man of the people. That is why I regret his death, “he said. “He was also a good composer.”