Héctor Juan Pérez Martínez (September 30, 1946 – June 29, 1993), better known together Héctor Lavoe, to be a Puerto Rican salsa singer. Lavoe to be born and also raised in the Machuelito sector of Ponce, Puerto Rico. Early in his life, he attended a local music school and developed one interest influenced by Jesús Sánchez Erazo. He moved to new York City as soon as he was 17 years old. ~ above his very first week living in the city, he worked as the vocalist the a sextet created by Roberto García. During this period, the performed through several other groups, consisting of Orquesta brand-new York, Kako All-Stars, and also the Johnny Pacheco band.

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In 1967, Lavoe join Willie Colón’s band and performed together the band vocalist. Through the Willie Colón band, Lavoe tape-recorded several fight songs, including “El Malo” and also “Canto a Borinquen”. If working through the Willie Colón band, Lavoe came to be addicted to drugs and began come be late habitually once scheduled to execute with the band. Colón eventually made decision to not work-related with Hector on stage however they tho remained great friends and made music in the studio together. Lavoe relocated on to come to be a soloist and formed his very own band, whereby he performed together lead vocalist. As a soloist Lavoe tape-recorded several hits consisting of “El cantante”, “Bandolera” and “Periódico de ayer” (“El Cantante” was written by Ruben Blades, “Bandolera” by Colón and “Periódico” through Tite Curet Alonso.) during this duration he was generally featured as an invite vocalist in the Fania every Stars, and also recorded countless tracks with the band.

In 1979, Lavoe underwent a deep depression and sought the aid of a high monk of the Santería belief to resolve his medicine addiction. After a brief rehabilitation, he relapsed adhering to the deaths that his father, son and also mother in law. These events, along with being diagnosed through HIV, influenced Lavoe to the point of attempting suicide by jumping off the balcony the a hotel room. Lavoe survived and recorded an album before his health started failing. Lavoe died on June 29, 1993, from a complication of AIDS.

Early life

Héctor to be born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, to Pachita and also Luis Pérez, and also raised in the Machuelito barrio that the city. He was inspired early on in life by his musically-talented family. His grandfather Don Juan Martínez was a singer the controversial songs, which often went from vocal dispute to physics confrontations. His uncle to be a well-known tres player in Ponce. His mommy Pachita was well known amongst her family and townspeople for her beautiful singing voice. His father Luis sustained his wife and also eight children by singing and also playing guitar v trios and large bands. Héctor would also be affected by Puerto Rican singers such as Jesus Sanchez Erazo also known together “Chuíto el de Bayamón”- one of the island’s many successful people singers, and Daniel Santos. Later in his life, that would have actually the honor of record songs v both artists.

Héctor attend the regional Juan Morel Campos Public school of Music wherein the saxophone was the very first instrument that learned come play. Among his classmates to be Jose Febles and also multi-instrumentalist Papo Lucca. Among his teachers would certainly strictly demand great diction, phase presence and also manners from the claiming that as a bolero singer, Héctor would become a superstar. By the age of 17, Lavoe exit school and also sang through a ten-piece band. He moved permanently to brand-new York on might 3, 1963, against his father’s wishes, together an enlarge brother had moved to the city and later died of a drug overdose. It would certainly take many more years before Héctor had the ability to reconcile with his father.


Arrival in brand-new York City

He was met through his sister Priscilla upon arrival in brand-new York. The first thing the did in new York to be visit El Barrio, new York’s “Spanish Harlem.” Héctor to be disappointed in the condition of El Barrio i m sorry contrasted v his vision that “fancy Cadillacs, high marble skyscrapers and also tree-lined streets.” Hector remained at his sister’s apartment in The Bronx, instead.

The an initial week in new York, Héctor was invited by his friend Roberto García, a other musician and also childhood friend, to a rehearsal that a newly formed sextet. As soon as he arrived they to be rehearsing the romantic bolero Tus Ojos. The command vocalist was to sing off key, and as a gesture of goodwill, Lavoe verified the vocalist exactly how it was claimed to sound. Complying with this event, the group available him the clues of lead vocalist, i m sorry he ultimately accepted.

Later in his career, he joined other teams in the genre, consisting of Orquesta brand-new York, Kako All-Stars, and Johnny Pacheco. To differentiate Héctor from various other Latino singers, a previous manager make him take on Felipe Rodriguez’s moniker “La Voz” (“The Voice”) and turned it into a phase name, Lavoe.

In 1967, he met Salsa musician and also bandleader Willie Colón. Pacheco, co-owner the Fania Records and its recording musical director, said that Colón record Lavoe on a monitor of Colón’s an initial album El Malo. Offered the an excellent results, Colón had actually Lavoe record the remainder of the album’s vocal tracks. Willie never ever officially inquiry Lavoe to sign up with his band, but after the recording, Willie said to him, “On Saturday we begin at 10 p.m. In ~ El Tropicoro Club.”

The album’s success considerably transformed both Colón’s and Lavoe’s lives. Colón’s tape featured a raw, aggressive all-trombone sound that was well received by salsa fans, and Lavoe additionally the style with his articulate voice, talent because that improvisation, and sense the humor. Héctor received prompt recognition, secure work, and enough money to administer him through a comfortable lifestyle. According to Lavoe, it taken place so rapid he did no know exactly how to cope through the sudden success.

During the year Lavoe began a romantic connection with Carmen Castro. Castro came to be pregnant but refused come marry him because she considered him a “womanizer.” Lavoe’s an initial son, José Alberto Pérez was born top top October 30, 1968. On the night when José to be baptized, Héctor received a call informing him the Nilda “Puchi” Román (with whom he additionally had a relationship during the same period he was with Castro) was pregnant. Héctor’s second son, Héctor Jr. Was born top top September 25, 1969. Following this event, the pair married, and following a request by Román, Lavoe preserved the amount of call with Castro and José Alberto come a minimum throughout their marriage.

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The Willie Colón years

In late 1970, Colón and Lavoe recorded the an initial of 2 “Asalto Navideño” albums, featuring Puerto Rican people songs such as Ramito’s jibaro song “Patria y Amor” (renamed “Canto a Borinquen”) and original compositions.