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News > Dominican Republic

The Fania All-Stars Founder Johnny Pacheco Dies

  • Musician and composer Johnny Pacheco.

    Musician and composer Johnny Pacheco. | Photo: Twitter/ @Dianabluepearl1

Published 16 February 2021

He was part of a group of talented Latin American musicians who fused various Caribbean rhythms to create the "Salsa" genre in the 1960s.

Dominican composer and producer Johnny Pacheco, one of the creators of the Salsa music genre, died at 85 on Monday in New York, U.S.


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Singer Eugenio Perez confirmed the death in a message posted on social media, stating that "his loss is a tragedy for the music world."

On Saturday, the artist's family informed that Pacheco had to be urgently hospitalized with pneumonia at a New York hospital. "Fans, colleagues, and friends, don't stop praying for his health," his wife Cuqui Pacheco tweeted then.

Pacheco, who was known as The Silver Fox, was born on March 25, 1935, in the Dominican Republic. As a child, he emigrated with his entire family to New York, where he began his musical studies and training.

Experts assure Salsa was born in New York neighborhoods in the 1960s thanks to young Latin American musicians who emigrated to the U.S.

Pacheco considered salsa to be a mixture of Caribbean rhythms such as guaracha, mambo, pachanga, guajira, guaguanco, and chachacha.

The artist composed over 150 songs, such as "La Dicha Mia," "Quitate Tu," "Acuyuye," "El Rey de la Puntualidad," "El Numero Cien," and "Celia y Tito."

In 1963, he and producer Jerry Masucci founded Fania Records. Five years later, the musician formed the Fania All-Stars Orchestra, which featured renowned artists such as Larry Harlow, Celia Cruz, Willie Colon, Hector Lavoe, and Ray Barretto.

"Master of masters and my good friend, rest in peace. You were there for me from day one. Your sense of humor was contagious and I am forever grateful for your support, for the opportunity to be in your presence, and for your amazing legacy," Puerto Rican singer Marc Anthony tweeted.

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