RIP José José 'El Principe De La Cancion' — Mexican Singer Dead At 71

Rest in peace, Sr. José José.

How Did José José Die? New Details On The Death Of The Mexican 'Prince Of Song' At 71 Instagram

In his lifetime, he was known as the "prince of song" (or, el principe de la cancion). Despite the fact that he never "crossed over" to the English language, he had a wide variety of fans from all walks of life. But now, he's gone. How did José José die?  

Born Jose Romulo Sosa Ortiz in Mexico City, the man who would become known as José José was born into a family of singers. He first came to prominence in 1970, when he performed the popular Mexican song "El Triste." He signed to Ariola Records in the 1980s, and his debut album sold more than 7 million records. Thereafter, he became known as an icon of Mexican music, and his style of singing influences both Mexican and mainstream artists all over the world. Cristian Castro, Vicente Fernandez, Chayanne, and Marc Anthony are just a few of the many singers that credit José José with influencing their careers. 


Now, however, that he's gone, let's look back at his life and legacy. 

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1. He was nominated for several awards.

According to TMZ, even though the name José José doesn't ring any bells in the mainstream world, he was nominated for several awards, including Grammys. Despite the several nominations, he never snagged an award. He did, however, have many of his songs land on the Billboard charts. 


2. José José's career lasted more than a half-century.

"He was known for romantic ballads, including "La Nave del Olvido," "40 y 20," "Gavilán o Paloma" and "El Triste," and many more songs that became hits throughout his career of more than half a century," reported WXII 12, an NBC affiliate.

3. Mexico's Ministry of Culture spoke out in the wake of his death.

José José had such an impact on Mexican culture that even the Ministry of Culture spoke out about his death. "From the beginning of his career, the performer of El Triste became one of the most beloved voices in Mexico. RIP," they wrote on their Twitter page


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4. Tributes to José José came in from several musicians, as well. 

"Many iconic names, from Lola Beltran to Pedro Infante, were celebrated, but it was certainly a touching moment when the bands took a moment to celebrate José José with a heartfelt "Lo pasado, lo pasado" (What Already Happened, Happened). Everyone stood and toasted to the late entertainer," reported Billboard Magazine. 

5. He had fans all over the world.

The New York Times reports that in addition to having fans in the United States and Mexico, José José had fans all over the world, including in Japan and Russia. Fans all over the world came out in support of his family, especially when word of his death became public. 

6. José José died of pancreatic cancer. 

"The music icon — whose real name was José Rómulo Sosa Ortiz — died on Saturday in Miami, Florida. His assistant, Laura Núñez, confirmed his death to multiple outlets. In 2017, the singer revealed that he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer," reported MSN, who confirmed that the illness ultimately claimed his life.


Our thoughts are with José José and his family during this difficult time. 

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, and photographer whose work has appeared in People, Teen Vogue, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and more. She is also the author of The Uprising series. For more information about Bernadette Giacomazzo, click here.