Legendary Mexican Singer Joan Sebastian Dead At 64

Joan Sebastian, a leading figure in the Latin music industry, died on Monday at the age of 64, according to BBC. The cause of Sebastian’s death can be attributed to bone cancer. Joan Sebastian was known for performing on horseback and for his sentimental love songs.

Sebastian grew up in a rural area of Mexico, living in poverty, when he decided to dedicate his life to his music, which he won five Grammys and seven Latin Grammys for. Joan Sebastian said that he realized he wanted to become a singer at an early age, leaving the Catholic seminary where he was training to be a priest to pursue music at the age of 17-years-old.

In 1999, Sebastian was diagnosed with bone cancer, which later came back in 2007 and 2012, according to the Latin Times. In 2015, Sebastian declared that he was retiring from the jaripeos (rodeos) shows, which he usually performed on a horse during, but said it was only the rodeos he was retiring from and not quitting music altogether.

Joan Sebastian told reporters the following in a previous interview.

“I am not retiring, I am saying goodbye to the rodeos only. I am 62-years-old and I am satisfied with what I have accomplished, but I know I am not getting younger. I want to retire on a high, I’m retiring from horses because I cannot mount anymore. There are various indicators and some members of my family suffer too much, it’s the moment.”

In 2014, Sebastian revealed that he was battling cancer for the fourth time and undergoing chemotherapy. A few weeks ago, it was confirmed that Sebastian had been hospitalized and was undergoing cancer treatment again under medical supervision.

Sebastian’s son, Julian Figueroa, told Hoy the following.

“My father is not in the middle of a horrible crisis. We are going to inform the public so they are aware and so they won’t worry about my father. What is happening is that he’s under a new treatment that they are testing on my father. They are doing it at the hospital so they can see the results. My father is stable, obviously with the implications of having cancer, but he isn’t in greater danger.”

Joan Sebastian released more than 50 albums, mixing Mexican ranchera music and Latin pop. Some of his most popular songs include Tatuajes and Secreto de Amor. Besides music, Sebastian also starred in a Mexican soap opera, Tu y Yo (You and Me).

[Photo by Christopher Polk / Getty Images]