Last month I saw El Cantante, the Hector Lavoe biopic starring Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez, for the first time.
While the critics’ reviews were mixed, I enjoyed it, and the soundtrack was excellent. I became aware of a bunch of salsa classics, and gained an appreciation for his music.
Hector Lavoe is from Puerto Rico, and after moving to New York City, he’d go on to become one of salsa’s biggest stars. Unfortunately, at the peak of his career, he was beset by a plague of problems.
He’d become a heavy drug user, contracted HIV, buried his 17-year old son who was accidentally killed by gun, and was badly injured when he tried to commit suicide by jumping off a 9th floor balcony. He never fully recovered from those injuries, and would later die from complications of AIDS.
Going back to the music, I heard this song playing in a video installation by a group of Colombian artists at a modern art museum in Cordoba, Argentina.
Thankfully, they listed the song at the end. I’ve heard it a ton of times over the last three years, and now I finally know who sang it.
Below is a live version, with lower quality audio.