Joan Sebastian (Born Jose Figueroa)
April 8, 1951 – July 13, 2015
Joan Sebastian was a Mexican singer-songwriter who counted at least 1000 compositions as his own. Over the years, his songs have been made into hits by the likes of Vicente Fernandez, Rocio Durcal and Pepe Aguilar. Sebastian was just a seven-year-old boy living in rural Guerrero when he first began writing songs. As a teen, his mother sent to live in a monastery where he strongly considered a life as a priest, but after enrolling in a seminary, he decided he wanted a career in music. During the late ’60s, Sebastian met actress and singer Angelica Maria who not only asked him to write songs for her, but encouraged him to write songs for himself to record. By 1974, he was living in Mexico City where he recorded his debut album, Pedro Parrandas to modest local acclaim. During the ’90s, Sebastian landed a role in the popular Mexican soap opera, Tu y Yo, but still worked hard to further his music career. In 2000, he released Secreto de Amor which became a smash in Mexico, the United States, and beyond. In the U.S. alone, it sold over 4 million copies and earned him multiple Grammys. He went on to become the most awarded Mexican performer in Grammy history. In 1999, Joan Sebastian was diagnosed with bone cancer. Although he battled it into remission a handful of times over the next several years, it ultimately took his live on July 13, 2015. He was 64.
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