Armando Manzanero, one of Mexico’s most revered songwriters and musical performers, has died aged 85 from Covid-19. He tested positive for the disease on 17 December and was intubated on 22 December.
The Society of Authors and Composers of Mexico (SACM), of which Manzanero was president, announced his death, saying: “The romantic soul of Mexico and the world is in mourning.”
Manzanero’s romantic crooner songs, sometimes translated into English, were performed by artists including Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Perry Como, and he was awarded a lifetime achievement Grammy in 2014. It’s Impossible, performed by Como, crossed over into the US charts in 1970.
Born in Ticul, Yucatán state, in 1935, he began songwriting in 1950 with the song Nunca en el Mundo (Never in the World), alongside a career as a piano accompanist. He released his debut solo album in 1959.
He has since written more than 400 songs and released more than 30 albums, including nine since 2001, as Manzanero collaborated with a younger generation of Spanish-language romantic pop singers such as Alejandro Sanz, Luis Miguel and Lucero.
He was still working this autumn, telling Associated Press in October: “Everything I say and I compose or feel, I record so it doesn’t get lost.”
He also had a long-time role at the SACM, working on behalf of Mexican songwriters since becoming vice president in 1982, and president in 2011.