surinenglish

Legendary Spanish singer Camilo Sesto dies aged 72

Fans paid their final respects to the singer (inset) on Monday.
Fans paid their final respects to the singer (inset) on Monday. / REUTERS
  • Sesto died at a Madrid hospital as a result of heart failure

Dubbed 'the Spanish Sinatra', singer Camilo Sesto died on Sunday at the age of 72. He died at a Madrid hospital as a result of heart failure, eight days shy of his 73rd birthday and a fortnight before the release of his new album, Camilo Sinfónico, recorded with the RTVE orchestra. He was due to embark on a tour of the US in October.

With 52 number 1s and 70 million record sales under his belt (some estimations push the figure closer to 100 million), Sesto's music was a soundtrack to a generation across both Spain and America.

Most famous for his classic ballad, Vivir Así es Morir de Amor, Sesto gained international recognition for his role as Jesus in the Madrid production of Jesus Christ Superstar. It was the first big musical to be staged in Spain (in 1975, the latter days of the Franco regime).

Andrew Lloyd Webber admitted that this was the only production that could equal the original.

Sesto continued to produce music on a regular basis and moved to the US in the following years where he sold out massive venues including in Las Vegas and at Madison Square Garden in New York.

In 1979 he gained a platinum disc, having sold 13 million albums.

More hits followed until the second half of the 1980s when legal and health problems saw him withdraw from the limelight.

He made a comeback in the 1990s, continuing to tour around the world before a liver transplant forced him to slow down.

There were queues around the block as fans sang his songs while they waited to pay their final respects to the crooner at the chapel of rest on Monday.