Godfather of salsa, Johnny Pacheco, dies aged 85

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Godfather of salsa, Johnny Pacheco, dies aged 85
CREDIT: Twitter

Godfather of salsa, Johnny Pacheco, dies aged 85.

DOMINICAN musician Johnny Pacheco, co-founder of the orchestra the Fania All Stars, passed away on Monday, February 15 after a spell in hospital with pneumonia.

“With great pain in my soul and an emptiness in my heart, I inform you that the teacher Johnny Pacheco, with great peace, passed away this afternoon.

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“Thank you very much for all your prayers and all the love that you always gave him. At this time we ask for privacy and prayers”, his family confirmed on social networks.”

Born in Santiago de los Caballeros in 1935, Juan Azarías Pacheco Kiniping, known as Johnny Pacheco, is widely considered one of the godfathers of salsa.

Composer of more than 150 songs such as’ La Dicha Mía ‘,’ Quítate Tú ‘(Pa’ Ponerme Yo) and ‘Acuyuye’, he was co-founded the Fania Record label with Jerry Masucci in 1963.


In 1968, EL Zorro de Plata as he was also known, formed the Fania All Stars Orchestra, which had as members artists such as Ruben Blades, Larry Harlow, Celia Cruz, Willie Colón, Héctor Lavoe and Ray Barretto.

The multi-talented artist also produced music for films such as ‘Our Latin Thing’, the first production about salsa and its influence on Latinos in New York.


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