March 07, 2008
March 21, 2013
Jazz, R&B, Salsa
Total Songs Added:
Hector Juan P rez Mart nez (September 30, 1946 - June 29, 1993) was a Puerto Rican salsa singer. Lavoe was born and raised in the Machuelito sector of Ponce, Puerto Rico. Early in his life, he attended a local music school and developed an interest inspired by Jes s S nchez Erazo. He moved to New York City when he was seventeen years old. On his first week living in the city, he worked as the vocalist of a sextet formed by Roberto Garc a. During this period, he performed with several other groups, including Orquesta
In 1967, Lavoe joined Willie Col n's band and performed as the band vocalist. With the Willie Col n band, Lavoe recorded several hit songs, including El malo and Canto a Borinquen. While working with the Willie Col n band, Lavoe became addicted to drugs and began to habitually be late when scheduled to perform with the band. Col n eventually decided to not work with Hector on stage but they still remained good friends and made music in the studio together. Lavoe moved on to become a soloist and formed his own band, where he performed as lead vocalist. As a soloist Lavoe recorded several hits including El cantante, Bandolera and El peri dico de ayer ('El Cantante' was composed by Ruben Blades, 'Bandolera' by Col n and 'Peri dico' by Tite Curet Alonso.) During this period he was frequently featured as an invited vocalist in the Fania All Stars, and recorded numerous tracks with the band.
In 1979, Lavoe underwent a strong depression and sought the help of a high priest (of the Santeria faith) to attend to his drug addiction. After a short rehabilitation, he relapsed following the deaths of his father, son and mother in law. These events, along with being diagnosed with HIV, affected Lavoe to the point of attempting suicide by jumping off the balcony of a hotel room. Lavoe survived and recorded an album before his health began failing. Lavoe died in June 29, 1993, from a complication of AIDS.