Colombian folk legend Lizardo Diaz passed away at the age of 84 Thursday night in Bogota after a long battle with hydrocephalus.
The iconic Colombian performer passed away surrounded by his wife and three children.
His daughter Patricia released a statement saying, “Since last Friday, we suspended all treatments….It’s been a hard and difficult process.”
Diaz began his career with the group ”40 guitars and 40 voices” before teaming up with Jorge Ezequiel Ramirez in 1951. Known as the “Tolimenses”, the duo mixed risque humor with folk music.
In 1956, considered the golden age of Diaz’s career, he met his future wife, actress Raquel Ercole. The couple had three children.
In 1968, Diaz and Ramirez, on advice from the then president Carlos Lleras Restrepo, took to the big stage, touring across South America, the U.S. and the Soviet Union under the names Emeterio and Felipe.
The pair remained partners for 42 years until Jorge’s alcoholism became too much of a problem. Following the duo’s split, Lizardo moved into cinema, acting in short films. He later founded his own production company with his wife under the name ”Diaz Ercole” and made more than 20 documentaries.
In 2006, the department of Huila awarded Lizardo with the ”Golden Drum” award in recognition of his achievements and expression of Huilan folklore.
Lizardo Diaz will be remembered as a folk music legend, a loving husband and a Colombian icon.