Juan Gabriel, Mexican Superstar, Dies at 66

The music sensation was found in his Santa Monica home, according to TMZ

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Latin superstar Juan Gabriel died Sunday morning of what appears to be natural causes, TMZ reported.

The Mexican sensation had been on the road with his “MeXXico Es Todo Tour” and had just performed at the Forum in Los Angeles two nights earlier.

According to TMZ, “Law enforcement sources tell us cops were called to a residence in Santa Monica Sunday morning where the singer was pronounced dead.”

Gabriel was born Alberto Aguilera Valadez in Parácuaro, Michoacán, Mexico and signed a recording contract with RCA Records at 21, at which time he officially changed his name.

His career blossomed over the 15 years that followed with over 1000 songs recorded in a variety of music genres, adding up to some 20 million records sold. To date, that number has jumped to over 30 million.

Among Gabriel’s many honors are People’s Choice Latin Music Award, six Grammy nominations, a Lifetime Achievement Award from La Opinion Tributo Nacional, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and ASCAP Songwriter of the Year Award (1995). In addition, in 1986, Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley declared October 5 “The Day of Juan Gabriel.”

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto tweeted: “We lament the death of Juan Gabriel, one of the biggest musical icons of our country. My condolences to his family and friends.”

“A voice and a talent that represented Mexico,” Nieto wrote. “His music is a legacy to the world. He left us too soon. May he rest in peace.”