The legendary bandleader, producer, and co-founder of the salsa label Fania Records, Johnny Pacheco, is deceased. He was now 85 years old.
People announced that after being hospitalized with pneumonia, the 9-time Dominican-born Grammy nominee passed away on Monday afternoon.
His mom, Maria Elena “Cuqui” Pacheco, said on the artist’s Facebook account that he was hospitalized in New York a few days earlier for pneumonia.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Pacheco was better known for promoting salsa and making Fania Albums with Jerry Masucci.
Considered a visionary of his preferred musical form, the Latin Recording Academy awarded him with the Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Prize in 2005. Both of his albums were nominated for Grammy Awards: Cross Over and Eternos (1979), Di Nuevo (1985) and Salsobita (1988).
Pacheco was born in 1935 in the Dominican Republic, where his father led a large band performing popular dance music.
When he was 11, the family eventually moved to the U.S. where they settled in New York.
In the 1970s, the sound of Cuban dance music was revolutionized by Fania Records and Pacheco was a prolific songwriter and musical arranger whose work helped to launch the careers of Celia Cruz and Ruben Blades.
During his long career, he wrote more than 150 songs, including La Dicha Mía, Quitate Tu Pa’Ponerme I, Acuyuye, and Le roi de la ponctualité.
Pacheco is survived by Cuqui Pacheco, his wife, and their four children.