Jose Jose, a Mexican crooner with the hugely popular velvet voice in Latin America over a career of more than 50 years, died at the age of 71, his son and the Mexican government announced Saturday.

José Sosa Ortiz, known as “The Principle of Cancion” (“The Prince of Song”), suffered from pancreatic cancer.

“We mourn the death of singer José Romulo Sosa, better known as José José […] Since the beginning of his career, the singer of El Triste was one of the most beloved voices in Mexico,” said the Mexican Ministry of Culture on Twitter.

The son of the deceased, José Joel, published images of black ribbons on his Facebook page, writing: “We are trying to cope with the situation by keeping in our hearts the divine promise that we will see and shake it again in our arm, so as not to be separated “.

The Mexican channel Televisa, with whom José José worked for a long time, said the singer had died Saturday at a hospital in Homestead, near Miami, Florida (southeastern United States).

His body arrived at a funeral home in Miami at the end of the day. His last wife, Sara Salazar, saluted his memory by writing, “The love of my life has gone away.”

José José sold more than 120 million records during a career of 55 years. Many of his songs sought to comfort discouraged lovers.

At the height of his career, from the 1970s to the 1990s, he chained the tubes at a dizzying pace.

Its first international success, “La Nave del Olvido” (“The Ship of Forgetfulness”), was released in 1970 and still regularly passes on radios in Latin America.

“He was an amazing singer […] With his songs he made many people of my generation cry and made happy,” Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said in a statement.

This son of a tenor and a pianist struggled with addiction issues, particularly alcohol. ” Dear family. Thank you for your support and prayers. I’m doing very well thanks to God. I’m continuing my treatment to get by and we’ll meet again soon, “he wrote on June 10 on Twitter.

In his home neighborhood in Mexico City, Claveria, some 300 people gathered in a park with a statue of his likeness. “We are sad but happy to sing her songs here in Claveria,” said Rocio Garcia, a 61-year-old woman.

If José José did not compose his songs, the quality of his performances, especially for the sad songs, earned him an untouched celebrity far beyond the borders of his country. In recent years, however, his voice had left him.

In 2018, Telemundo broadcast a series about his life.