“Lalo” Rodríguez, Puerto Rican salsa singer, dies at 64

Local authorities reported that Puerto Rican salsa musician “Lalo” Rodríguez, who was once part of Eddie Palmieri’s band, died Tuesday at the age of 64, according to The Associated Press.

The interpreter of “Ven, devórame otra vez” was found dead in a public housing project in the United States, police said, according to the AP. The cause of death is still unknown, but there were no visible signs of violence on Rodríguez’s body, AP reported.

The singer, born Ubaldo Rodríguez Santos in 1958, began his career as a child, singing at local events and festivals, as well as on radio and television.

He eventually joined Palmieri’s band as a teenager in 1973, where he took his stage name “Lalo”. The salsero sang on Palmieri’s “Sun of Latin Music” album – which won a Grammy in 1976, the first-ever Grammy awarded to a Latin record.

After his time in the band, Rodríguez went on to a successful solo career, producing music until the late 2000s.

Lalo Rodríguez has died aged 64
FILE — Lalo Rodriguez attends as one of the winners of the ‘Dia Nacional de la Zalza’ press conference on March 10, 2016 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Gladys Vega/Contributor/Getty Images

While the salsero has made his mark in the music world, he has struggled in his personal life with drugs and alcohol, and has previously been charged with possession of cocaine, according to the AP.

Several prominent figures in the Puerto Rican community and the world of salsa music paid tribute to the late Rodríguez with tributes on social media.

Musician Eddie Palmieri said his former bandmate was “a giant in many ways”.

“It is with deep sadness that I learn of the passing of Lalo Rodríguez,” Palmieri wrote. “I don’t need to tell you how much he meant to me, our music and our culture, and the global community.”

Grammy-winning salsa band Grupo Niche have released a statement on Twitter, calling Rodríguez “one of the most famous salsa voices in the world”.

“A lot of strength for his family, his followers and his friends,” added the group.

Puerto Rican singer Elvis Crespo honored Rodríguez’s memory, tweeting that he had “one of the most beautiful voices my ears have heard and will hear”.

“His unique timbre, melody and power made his music immortal,” Crespo said. “My sincere condolences to his family and his fans.”

Journalist Benjamin Torres Gotay called the memory of the “immortal” Grammy-winning artist.

“He will always live on in ‘Devórame otra vez’, ‘Máximo Chamorro’ and ‘Deseo salvaje’, and through many other works,” Gotay said. “Sad end today for a true legend.”

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