RIP Camilo Sesto — Spanish Pop Star Dead At 72

Photo: Instagram
How Did Camilo Sesto Die? New Details On Death Of Spanish Pop Star At 72

How did Camilo Sesto die? Legendary Spanish singer and songwriter Camilo Sesto has died. He was 72 years old. The singer had been a successful musician since the 1960s when he was performing with Beatles-inspired rock bands. He eventually went solo and carved out a career writing and singing his own music. He released dozens of albums and have many Top 10 hit songs. He died in Madrid this week after two heart attacks.

1. Cause of death

People magazine reports that Sesto died after suffering from two heart attacks. His heart wasn't his only medical issue. People notes that he has suffered from kidney trouble that caused his overall health to deteriorate. In the early 2000s, he underwent a liver transplant, according to Billboard. Sesto passed away at the Hospital Universitario Quirónsalud Madrid.

2. Camilo's early life

He was born Camilo Blanes Cortés on Sept. 16, 1946, in the town of Alcoy in the province of Alicante, Spain. As a child, he sang at weddings and christenings. He was in his teens when he joined the band Los Dayson and last the band Los Botines. Both groups took inspiration from the Beatles and, with them, he was able to get to Madrid where he started a solo career under the mentorship of songwriter Juan Pardo. He changed his name to Sesto, which had a numerological significance to him. The Washington Post writes that Sesto is an alternate spelling of sexto, Spanish for sixth, and Camilo pointed out that his given, middle and family names each have six letters, and that he was the sixth member of his family.  "And if you want to be numerical about it, the street number of my house is 3399,” he told the Miami Herald in 1993. “Add the numbers and you get 24 — 4 and 2 makes six. My son was born on the 24th. Again, 4 and 2 equals six… Is it a coincidence or something more?” 

Sesto never married though he and Mexican actress Lourdes Ornelas share a son named Camilo Blanes together. Blanes is 36 years old. 

RELATED: RIP LaShawn Daniels — Grammy-Winning Songwriter Dead At 41

3. Music career

Sesto was a prolific performer and recording artist, releasing dozens of albums over the course of his career. The New York Times reports that  “Algo de Mi” (“Something of Me”) became his first No. 1 hit in 1972, beginning a string of hits that would last for decades, including “Algo Más”, “Perdóname", “¿Quieres Ser Mi Amante?”, “Donde Estés, Con Quién Estés” and “Amor Mío, ¿Qué Me Has Hecho?”. Unusually for singers of the time, Sesto wrote much of his own music. He ventured into acting in 1975, when he commissioned a Spanish translation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Jesus Christ, Superstar, in which he played the title role.  

While most of Camilo's songs are in Castilian Spanish, he has also recorded songs in English, Catalan, Italian, German, Japanese and Portuguese as well. He released one album in English and his songs have been translated to Portuguese, German and Italian. Spanish speaking audiences all over the world adored his work. NBC reported that LA Times writer Esmeralda Bermudez posted on Twitter. "Back in the 80s, the women in my family shed many tears listening to the legendary Camilo Sesto." She went on to say "His music was a love song to all the precious things they left behind in Central America."

Sesto was a legend in Spanish language music.

4. Retirement from recording and touring

In 2008, Sesto announced that he would not be recording any music in the future. The following year, he scheduled a farewell tour. The tour schedule took him through the Americas — U.S., Mexico, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, and other countries — and lasted for the next two years. Finally, at the end of 2010, he gave his last two concerts in Madrid, which were released as live albums, the first he had ever produced, They were also intended to be his last recordings ever. At the same time, he released a DVD of his Madrid concerts. 

5. Upcoming album and tour

Despite his failing health over the last few years, Sesto was determined to make one last record. Billboard reports that he has an album slated for release on September 13, his first since the 2002 release of Alma. Sesto was also planning a US tour, beginning with a show at Coliseo de Puerto Rico on October 3, and then continuing through six October dates. 

RELATED: Valerie Harper Dead At 80 — What We Know About This Legendary Actress

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Join now for YourTango's trending articles, top expert advice and personal horoscopes delivered straight to your inbox each morning.

6. Outpouring of grief

Among Sesto's many admirers is the acting prime minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez, who tweeted “Spain and all of Latin America mourn the loss of Camilo Sesto His melodies will always be part of our memory.” Cardi B posted a video of herself singing one of Sesto's songs when she learned of his death.

Cardi B sings Sesto's work.

Camilo Sesto was only 12 days from his 73rd birthday when he died.