Mexican ballad singer Joan Sebastian dies at age 64

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MEXICO CITY— Joan Sebastian, one of Mexico’s great ballad singers, died Monday at age 64.

A representative of Universal Music Latin Entertainment-Fonovisa confirmed his death, but did not specify the cause.  Sebastian had battled cancer for years.

He was best known for sentimental love songs like “Tatuajes” and “Secreto de Amor,” sometimes set to simple guitar arrangements and sometimes sung on horseback.

Sebastian won five Grammy awards and seven Latin Grammy prizes during his career.

He reached nearly the same level of adoration as Vicente Fernandez, the king of Mexico’s “ranchero” country-ballad music who outlived him.

Born Jose Manuel Figueroa, Sebastian had eight children with five women. Two of his sons were killed in separate incidents in 2006 and 2010, triggering speculation the singer might have been involved in the drug underworld. He strenuously denied that.

Burial plans were not immediately announced.