The world loses Armando Manzanero, a romantic without grudges

Mexico, Dec 28 (EFE) .- Armando Manzanero only wrote about the good of love, never about spite, and he enjoyed sharing time and telling stories. Mexico and the world have said goodbye to him between the sadness of not being able to fire him and the pride that he had brought his music to the whole world.

The 86-year-old composer, musician and producer died this Monday at 3.20 am (9.20 GMT) after several days intubated by covid-19 in a hospital on the outskirts of Mexico City, confirmed his wife, Laura Elena Villa, to Efe .

Shortly after the news, authorities, artists and followers of Manzanero (Yucatán, 1935) have echoed and soon social networks have been filled with messages of affection, sadness and surprise at the loss of the singer-songwriter known as the king of romanticism.

One of the first was the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who distressedly interrupted his morning press conference when he heard the news.

"We send to their family and friends, to all the singer-songwriters, our condolences for this unfortunate loss for the artistic world and I no longer want to continue with this press conference and nothing else is over," said the president, who ordered to reproduce the song "Adoro" by Manzanero at the National Palace.

The Society of Authors and Composers of Mexico, of which Manzanero was president, has remembered all the successes and recognitions of the artist, who composed songs such as "This afternoon I saw it rain", "We are boyfriends" or "Under the table".


The organization, which called on Mexicans to sing the song "This afternoon I saw it rain" from the windows and balconies, has announced that "no face-to-face funeral ceremony will take place, and the body will be cremated."

The Government of Mexico announced that, when the coronavirus pandemic allows it, a great tribute to the singer will be held at Bellas Artes, a place where the greatest artists who passed through the country, such as José José, Juan Gabriel, Chavela Vargas or Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Manzanero's last public appearance was on December 11 in his beloved Mérida, capital of Yucatán, where he inaugurated the Casa Manzanero Museum.

During the 70 years that his artistic career lasted, the singer-songwriter was very active, both recording his albums and offering concerts, as well as composing and producing music for other artists, including Luis Miguel, with whom he "changed the physiognomy of pop in Spanish with a repertoire that was believed to be already exhausted ", explained to Efe his friend, the director of the National Sound Library, Pável Granados.

According to him, the composer "had many moments of genius" and since he was a child, those around him, including his father, the Yucatecan troubadour Santiago Manzanero, saw that he had the talent to achieve a prolific and solid musical career.


And he more than succeeded, as he sold millions of records and composed more than 600 songs, some of which were performed by artists from around the world, including Elvis Presley, Alejandro Fernández, Pancho Céspedes, Miguel Bosé, Omara Portuondo, Tony Bennett, Pablo Milanés, José José, Fito Páez or Christina Aguilera, among many others.

He also published more than 30 record works and in 2014, the United States Recording Academy recognized him with the Grammy for artistic career, being the first Mexican to receive this recognition.

Despite having international recognition as a great star, he preferred to be seen as "a close friend" with whom to share celebrations and conversations, according to Granados, who lived many evenings and anecdotes with him.

"He liked not being the Manzanero teacher, but being seen as a close friend. He liked going to parties to talk and tell anecdotes. Not to be told 'Oh! The Manzanero teacher, sing to us," explained Granados.

"The great amount of things that he talked about were personal things, stories of the people he met. That great way of composing was a mixture of musical wisdom but also the wisdom of living," he added.


Despite his cheerful, conscious and positive attitude, Manzanero also had friction with other artists such as José José or Luis Miguel.

Of the latter he went so far as to say that "it is easier for an elephant to enter through the eye of a needle than for Luis Miguel to do something for his neighbor.

Likewise, his self-perception as a heartthrob also caused him problems and he was criticized for misogynistic statements.

"There is not a woman who does not love, who does not like, that the man who loves caress and flatter her," he declared in 2015, after saying in 2002 that his wife depended on him for everything and recognized herself as "macho."


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