Legendary Spanish singer Camilo Sesto dies aged 72

Fans paid their final respects to the singer on Monday.
Fans paid their final respects to the singer on Monday. / REUTERS
  • The legendary singer, songwriter and music producer, famous his role in the Spanish version of Jesus Christ Superstar, died of kidney failure in a Madrid hospital on Sunday, a fortnight before the release of his new album

Tributes continue to pour in from across Spain and Latin America this week after the death of legendary singer-songwriter Camilo Sesto on Sunday. Sesto suffered a cardiac arrest as a result of kidney failure.

His death, at a hospital in Madrid, came eight days shy of his 73rd birthday and a fortnight before the release of his new album, Camilo Sinfónico, recorded with the RTVE orchestra.

With 52 number 1s and 70 million record sales under his belt (some estimations push the figure closer to 180 million), Sesto's music was a soundtrack to a generation across both Spain and Latin America.

Camilo Sesto on stage in 2010.

Camilo Sesto on stage in 2010. / EFE

Most famous in Spain 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 further health problems 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.

Spain's acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez wrote on Twitter: "Spain and all of Latin America mourn the loss of Camilo Sesto. His melodies will always be part of our memory."