Joan Sebastian, El Rey del Jaripeo, died at 64 on Monday. Throughout his about 40-year career, he released almost 50 albums. Joan was fighting cancer, but the official cause of death has not been released. “My dad didn’t die because of cancer, he died because of heartache,” his son, Jose Manuel Figueroa, said on Twitter.
Joan got a record deal when he was just 17 years-old. The very accomplished singer won five Grammys and seven Latin Grammys – the most for a Mexican artist. He was recently honored with the Gran Maestro award by the Sociedad de Autores y Compositores de Mexico. He is one of Mexico’s most top-selling contemporary artists, but his reach extended past his native country. When he worked in Chicago, his songs became successful for other artists. Joan first performed under his own name, José Manuel Figueroa Sr., but decided to rename himself after Los llanos de San Sebastián, where he worked as a child, in 1977. The first song he released under his new moniker was “El Camino del Amor,” which sold a combined 127,000 copies in Latin America and the United States.
He wrote what he knew. “I don’t make up songs — I live songs,” he said to Billboard. “My songs are a response to feelings, to what I’ve lived. … The important thing is that the songs be sincere, that they be truthful.”
To remember the life of Joan, we found some of the most interesting facts about the Mexican singer’s life:
Like Jay and Bey, he had a fave number.
For Joan, 13 was important. “13 is my lucky number,” he said in an interview with Telemundo. “13 has marked my life in a pleasant way, always.” His stage name had 13 letters, and he got his first guitar at 13.
He collaborated with will.i.am.
This ranchera-dance club hybrid was made possible because of Joan’s sons, who live in the U.S.
His house will be featured on USA Network.
At the beginning of the year, it was reported that Joan lent his house to the upcoming TNT show, Queen of the South. Alicia Braga was seen wearing Gucci glasses and a white Alexander McQueen dress at the Ocotepec property, named Rancho Cuernavaca.
He wrote his first song at 8.
The first song was about his hometown. But he didn’t become serious about music until he was 11.
They don't call him El Rey del Jaripeo for nothing.
He performed at rodeos, and is said to have been one of the first to do it. He eventually had to give it up after he was asked to by his doctor.