Rafael Escalona, one of Colombia’s most legendary composers and singers
of the Vallenato genre, died Wednesday after falling ill little less
than a week ago.
The 81-year old musician is considered one of the most important developers of Colombia’s most popular genre.
The singer’s family announced his death, five days after he was hospitalized for health complications. According to the hospital, the legend died of a cardiac arrest, combined with kidney failure.
Escalona, native of the north Colombian Cesar department, started his musical career in the 1940’s after dropping out of high school and adopting the music that has become so typical for north Colombia.
He has been one of the most, if not the most renowned composers of the Vallenato genre since the 1950’s and was a close friend of writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who mentioned the singer in a number of his books.
Escalona had been in poor health for years, but had always known to escape death until Wednesday.