The Cuban singer and songwriter, Pablo Milanés, passed away this Tuesday at the age of 79 in Madrid, Spain.
Milanés, one of the most prominent exponents of Nueva Trova, had been hospitalized for several days due to inflammation of the gallbladder and a kidney infection, which forced him to cancel several concerts on his “Días de luz” tour “.
“With great pain and sadness, we regret to inform that the teacher Pablo Milanés has passed away this morning of November 22 in Madrid. We deeply appreciate all the expressions of affection and support, to all his family and friends, in these difficult moments. May he rest in the love and peace that he has always transmitted. He will remain forever in our memory,” reported the musician’s artistic office.
The composer and guitarist had performed live for the last time on June 21 in Havana.
“Despite my 27 operations, going out to sing is my life, it is what gives me emotion. It makes me want to live contemplating the magic that is experienced when I start to sing and that is unspeakable,” he declared in an interview with Télam conducted in February 2019.
Born in 1943 in Bayamo, Milanés, one of the most recognized voices in Cuban music, he was the founder of the Nueva Trova Movement together with Silvio Rodríguez and the late Noel Nicola and, as part of that group, he exhibited to the world songs that became hymns like “I will step on the streets again”, “Yolanda” and “Años”. That move marked a revival of musical composition on the island.
Throughout his career, he released more than 50 records and received, among others, the Cuban National Music Award and the Latin Grammy for Musical Excellence, and collaborated with musicians such as jazz pianist Emiliano Salvador, singer Víctor Manuel and Xiomara Laugart.
Milanés was hospitalized in Madrid due to “the effects of a series of recurrent infections that in the last three months have been affecting his state of health,” according to a statement.
“This clinical situation – the note indicated – is secondary to an oncohematological disease that he has suffered for several years and which required him to settle in Madrid at the end of 2017 to receive treatment.”
For these reasons, “the Milanés concerts scheduled for the coming weeks were cancelled, and all his artistic activity suspended while this circumstance lasts,” the text stated.
The musician had planned to perform on November 30 in Mexico City and on December 5 in Santo Domingo; In addition, his agenda included a performance in the Spanish city of Pamplona.
On January 30 of this year, the artist suffered the loss of his daughter, the Cuban singer Suylén Milanés Benet, who died at the age of 50 due to a stroke.