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Hector as a young man in Puerto Rico. At the time, he idolized jíbaro singers like Chuíto el de Bayamón
Willie Colón, Héctor Lavoe and José Mangual performing together in their early days.
Héctor married Nilda "Puchi" Rosado after she told him she was pregnant with his son. But shortly before, he'd had a son with another woman, Carmen Castro.
Together, Héctor and Willie became some of Fania Records' most popular stars...eventually becoming synonymous with salsa across the world.
Héctor in a pensive moment. Part of his gift was his ability to tap into his feelings, making his audience relate to him.
Héctor often played maracas onstage.
Despite his tragic life, Héctor always performed with great energy.
Lavoe as art.
Although he's best known for salsa, Héctor recorded music across a wide range of Latin genres, from santeria songs, to these boleros by Felipe Pirela.
A 1976 show poster.
Friends said the tragedy that struck Lavoe hardest was the shooting death of his son.
As Héctor suffered ever more deeply from his drug addiction, he turned to his spirituality to get clean. But despite leaving drugs behind for a time, when tragedies struck, he returned to drug abuse.
Hector watching a video of himself, during his last years.
One of Hector's last public appearances.