El Divo de Juárez
I grew up listening to Juan Gabriel, Mexico’s musical gem and one of Latin America’s best singer-songwriter, on any given Sunday while deep cleaning the house with the fam. Juan was born in Parácuaro, Michoacán to farmer parents and the youngest of ten (no wonder he had four children but really six)* After his father was admitted to a psychiatric hospital, he moved with his mother and siblings to Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua and later Mexico City where he essentially became who he was meant to be.
Juan Gabriel, at some point of his life was poor and homeless and soon ended up in jail for one year and a half. While in prison, he met the warren, the plug, who introduced Juan to a Mexican singer and actress who eventually helped him sign the record deal of his life. Throughout his 15 year career, Juan wrote over 1,800 songs, recorded 15 albums and sold over 100 million albums. Gabriel had swag, too! Without knowing it (or maybe he did) he was showing love to the LGBTQ community as he was openly gay and had beautifully curated flamboyant style, which deeply penetrated through Latin America and the industry especially in his time.
Gabriel died at age 66 of a heart attack in Santa Monica, CA six months ago today. His death anniversary inspired me to share with you a few things:
- Everyone’s success comes about differently. There is no right or wrong way.
- Everything that happens in your life is good but unbeknownst to you until hindsight kicks in.
- Finally, forgiveness is a major key to life because no one is perfect.
I leave you with my favorite Juan Gabriel song, Amor Eterno live from El Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico, December 1990.
*Currently, and unfortunately the hottest gossip in all of Latin America is his family's feud over all of his money and residuals. This fight is a tad bit difficult because publicly Juan Gabriel had only four children and secretly an additional two boys with two different women, both previous household employees. This was discovered one month after his death. So who does the money go to?