Colombian salsa legend Joe Arroyo died this morning. The singer, known for blending salsa with other sounds such as merengue and soca, was 55. According to CNN, Arroyo, whose real name was Álvaro José Arroyo, had been hospitalized since last month at a clinic in Baranquilla, Colombia for a variety of ailments.
Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos expressed his feeling towards the country’s loss via Twitter. He described Arroyo’s death as “a great loss for music and for Colombia. All my solidarity to his family and loved ones.” Juanes, who is from Medellin, also logged onto the social media network to pour similar sentiments over his compatriot’s death. The 38-year-old pop/rock singer described today as “a sad day for music.”
In a press release, Colombia’s Culture Minister Mariana Garces Cordoba wrote of Arroyo’s “magic with the different rhythms of Caribbean music like cumbia, porro and champeta, and how he mixed them with salsa and other rhythms like soca and reggae."
It was also announced today that Arroyo will be a (now posthumous) recipient of the Latin Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award.
Here is the music video for one of his biggest hits, "Rebelión (No Le Pegue La Negra)":