Leer en Español
Grammy award winner and major exponent of Cuba’s nueva trova movement Pablo Milanés died on Monday aged 79 as fans flooded social media with tributes to the singer, poet and musician.
Author of classics such as “Yolanda”, Milanés published more than 40 albums throughout his career and received many awards for his work, including the Cuban National Music Award and the Latin Grammy award for musical excellence.
Together with Silvio Rodríguez and the late Noel Nicola, Milanes was the founder of the Cuban nueva trova (“new music”), a musical movement charged with political undertones.
Milanés, born on February 24, 1943, once said: “Music is everything to me, the best way I find to express myself, the best way to feel and even think.
“I think that musicians have a very special language, which allows us to communicate, that’s something unique.”
Milanés was a vociferous critic of Cuba’s political system.
In June this year, he returned to his native Cuba, where tickets for the show at the National Theater sold out swiftly, prompting protests from fans who were left ticketless.
Organizers decided to move the concert to the Coliseo de la Ciudad Deportiva where the venue’s capacity was four times higher.
Milanés arrived onstage in a wheelchair, triggering rumors his health was frail.
His visit to Havana meant he was reunited with his Cuban family five months after the unexpected death of his daughter Suylén due to a stroke in early 2022.
In September, Milanes joined 100 Cuban artists and intellectuals to sign a manifesto calling for changes in their country.
The Cuban singer-songwriter was hospitalized on November 12 in Madrid due to “the effects of a series of recurring infections that in the last three months have been affecting the state of his health,” according to a statement from his representative.
The artist was forced to suspend several performances in Spain’s Pamplona, Mexico City and Santo Domingo as part of his last tour “Días de luz”.
Milanés has resided in the north-western Spanish city of Vigo since 2014, together with his wife and manager, Galician historian Nancy Pérez, with whom he shares two children.