Manolo Escobar performs in 2010.
Manolo Escobar performs in 2010. Getty Images

Singer Manolo Escobar, whose "Y Viva Espana" became a best-selling single during Spain's transition from dictatorship to democracy in the mid-1970s, has died. He was 82.

Spain's Culture Ministry says Escobar died Thursday at his home in the eastern coastal town of Benidorm. The cause of death was not immediately made known.

Culture Minister Jose Ignacio Wert described him as a "fundamental reference of popular Spanish music."

Born in the southern village of El Ejido, Escobar became famous with his own TV show, "Canta Manolo Escobar" (Manolo Escobar Sings) in the 1960s.

"Y Viva Espana," released in 1973, sold an estimated 6 million copies, making him one of Spain's best-selling recording artists.

He is survived by his wife, Ana, and daughter, Vanessa.

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