Spanish singing legend Manolo Escobar, who helped make the musical homage to his homeland “Y Viva Espana” an international hit, has died at the age of 82.
Hugely popular with Spaniards and tourists at the country’s beach resorts, one of his last big appearances was in 2010, when he sang the song in Madrid, with Spain’s World Cup winning football team.
Escobar announced his retirement two years later but last month, suffering from cancer, the star had to cancel the final shows of his farewell tour. He died at home in Benidorm.
It was in the 1960s that Escobar became a big star with his own TV show and film roles. But singing was his first love. One of 10 children, he started as a youngster, performing with his brothers during the difficult years of the Spanish Civil War.
In one archive interview, he said he always looked for songs that people would enjoy and that would help them forget their troubles for a while.
Among the tributes, his country’s Culture Minister Jose Ignacio Wert called Escobar a “reference” in popular Spanish music. Way beyond Spain’s borders, his timeless magic is sure to live on.