Juan Gabriel was a prominent Mexican actor/singer/songwriter famed for being one of Latin America’s best-selling musician/songwriter. Also famed for his iconic songs and flamboyant style, the singer, to date, is considered the king of Mexican pop and a major influence on several accomplished singers across the world. Juan is regarded as one of the most prolific Mexican stage stars of all time, having lived his life through the microphone from the year 1971 to 2016, when he drew his last breath.
Who Is Juan Gabriel?
Professionally known as Juan Gabriel, Juan of blessed memory was born Alberto Aguilera Valadez on January 7, 1950, in Paracuaro, Michoacán, Mexico, to peasants Victoria Valadez (mother) and Gabriel Aguilera (father). He was a prominent songwriter, singer, actor born as the tenth child of his parents. When Gabriel was barely three months old, his dad mistakenly burned a foreign land, which sparked his nerves and led him to almost take his life. He was later taken to jail and admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Mexico City. After some time, nothing was heard about Gabriel, as it is not known if he died or escaped from prison. His disappearance gave rise to many problems in his family and also forced his wife to move to Ciudad Juarez with all her kids.
Getting to Ciudad Juarez, Juan’s mom started working as a maid and later sent him to a boarding school at the age of 5. It was during his stay in school that Alberto met a teacher called Juan Contreras, who taught him to play the guitar and sing as well.
Here’s Everything You Need To Know About The Singer
Juan Gabriel began writing songs at night at the age of thirteen. He eventually left his home at the age of sixteen to focus more on his passion. He began singing in choirs, nightclubs, restaurants, and event centers. Not long after, he decided to secure the future of his musical career in Mexico but he was rejected by many record labels who thought his songs were simple and that they were not in need of more pop singers. Juan would return to Juarez to pick up odd jobs, after which he moved to Mexico to try his luck again. This time, he was hired as a backup singer for several notable musicians.
While attending a friend’s birthday party in the city, he was arrested after he was wrongly accused of theft. Gabriel spent one year and six months in prison, where his path crossed with the prison’s director, who got moved by his story and introduced Gabriel to renowned Mexican actress/singer Enriqueta, who would help him regain his freedom.
Upon his release, Alberto started banding together with the record label, RCA Victor under the stage name Juan Gabriel (Gabriel and Juan in honor of his father and teacher respectively). Gabriel dropped his debut album titled: ‘El alma joven’ in 1971. Prior to his death, Juan had sold over 100 million copies, 66 albums, more than 1,800 songs, has a TV series based on his life and two movies to his name. Among his most notable penned songs are El Noa Noa, Te sigo amando, Amor eterno, Yo no nací para amar, Siempre en mi mente, Querida, No tengo dinero, Pero qué necesidad, Hasta que te conocí, Abrázame muy fuerte, Te lo pido por favor, En esta primavera, Siempre en mi mente, De mí enamórate, among others.
Juan Gabriel is considered as one of the biggest musical influences to many Mexican and musical stars, including and not limited to singer-songwriter, Julieta Venegas and singer Marc Anthony.
Films And TV Shows
As an actor, Gabriel starred in notable Mexican television series and films, some of which include 1979: En esta primavera (1979), 1980: El Noa Noa (1980), Nobleza ranchera (1977), ¿Qué Le Dijiste A Dios? (2014), 1965: Noches Rancheras (1965), Del otro lado del puente(1978), Es mi vida (1981), Hasta que te conocí (2016).
Family – Kids
Despite his fame and success that transcended generations, borders, and social classes, Juan Gabriel died without tying the knot with any woman, although he fathered six children before death came knocking.
According to sources, the pop icon conceived four children; Jean Gabriel, Joan Gabriel, Iván Gabriel, and Hans Gabriel via artificial insemination with a close female friend known as Laura Salas. However, nearly a month after his passing, it was discovered that the singer had a fifth offspring, a son called Luis Alberto Aguilera. As attested to by the news program, Primer Impacto, Gabriel kept a long-distance relationship with Luis who is currently living in Las Vegas and is the son of Guadalupe Gonzalez, Juan’s former domestic worker. The singer’s alleged 7th child, Joao Gabriel was subsequently found by the same news program on October 26, 2016. Primer Impacto reported that Consuelo Rosales is the mother of the Los Angeles, California-based young man and that Rosales once served Juan as a domestic employee.
It was also learned that the genetic material used in conducting genetic testing on Luis Alberto and Joao was provided by the singer’s brother, Pablo Aguilera. Information about Gabriel’s supposed children has, however, not been corroborated legally as it’s been considered as newspaper speculations.
In his lifetime, Juan Gabriel was considered Mexico’s gay icon even though he didn’t comment about his sexuality or identify with the gay community. On stage, he usually makes great sexy moves and was popular for his occasional touch of eye makeup and gender-bending outfits, just like David Bowie and Prince. All through his years in the spotlight, he decided to shield his sexual preference while making the most of his career.
The Mexican singer passed away as a result of a heart attack he suffered on the 28th of August 2016, in Santa Monica, California. His death shook Mexico and also shocked other Spanish-speaking countries. In their respective statements on social media, the presidents of the United States and Venezuela condoled with Juan’s family while Mexico’s president ordered that the singer be commemorated at the iconic Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico. Juan’s body was later cremated and his ashes were laid to rest at his personal house in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. His family opted not to perform an autopsy to determine the exact cause of his death.