The death of Colombian salsa legend Joe Arroyo on Tuesday caused widespread mourning in his home country. Prominent musicians and politicians expressed their grief through social media, while fans gathered at the hospital where he died.
President Juan Manuel Santos Tweeted that Arroyo’s death is “a great loss for music and for Colombia. All my solidarity to his family and loved ones.”
“May Joe Arroyo sing to the soul of the nation from heaven,” Santos’ predecessor Alvaro Uribe wrote on his twitter.
In a press release, Culture Minister Mariana Garces Cordoba praised the musician for “his magic with the different rhythms of Caribbean music like cumbia, porro and champeta, and how he mixed them with salsa and other rhythms like soca and reggae.”
“El Joe and his music are exponents of the wealth and potence of our culture and fill our cultural sector with pride,” the minister added.
Singer Juanes joined mourning Colombians of Twitter, saying that the day of Arroyo’s death is “a sad day for music.” The Medellin-born singer thanked the salsa legend “for the happiness you leave us.”
“Carnival has started in heaven, great Joe Arroyo, you will always be present in all Colombians,” a fan tweeted.
According to Cartagena newspaper El Universal, hords of mourning fans have begun gathering before the Ascuncion hospital in Barranquilla where Arroyo died at 7:45AM following weeks in the hospital’s intensive care unit.