HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — A large memorial is growing around Juan Gabriel’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where shocked fans are gathering to honor his memory.
The six-time Grammy nominee, known for his flamboyant personality, died suddenly Sunday at his home in Santa Monica.
The Mexican singer and songwriter was in the middle of a tour and just performed Friday night at the Forum in Inglewood. He was scheduled to perform Sunday night in El Paso and had many more concert dates across California scheduled.
Maria Elena Nava, a radio host for Univision, is remembering a dear friend.
“I got to know him as a performer, as a singer as an artist but I really got to know Alberto Aguilera Valadez, just the man,” Nava said. “The man that built this huge genius called Juan Gabriel.”
Hits that made him a legend in the Latin music world included “Hasta Que Te Conoci” (“Until I Met You”) and “Amor Eterno” (“Eternal Love”) and “Querida” (“Dear”). His songs spoke of love, loss and heartbreak from his own life growing up in an orphanage in Juarez, Mexico.
Gabriel wasn’t known to be sick, but he did have health problems in the past. Two years ago he was hospitalized in Vegas for three weeks with pneumonia. Despite rumors he was near death he made a full recovery. In 2005, he fell off the stage at a concert in Houston. He suffered a concussion, fractured neck, a broken wrist and was bedridden for eight months.
Fans also gathered at the funeral home where Gabriel’s body is being held.
Gabriel’s family says they’ll release more news about his cause of death in the coming days.