Elkin Ramirez, Colombia's 'Rock Titan' and Leader of Kraken, Dies at 54

Elkin Ramirez
Courtesy Photo

Elkin Ramirez

Fans worldwide mourn death of singer seen as the Colombian Freddie Mercury

Elkin Ramírez, known as Colombia’s “rock titan,” died Sunday (Jan. 29) in Medellín. Ramírez, the leader of pioneering Colombian metal band Kraken, was 54 years old.

Colombian newspapers El Tiempo and El Espectador both carried news of the rocker’s death on their websites’ homepages. Juanes was among the fans who mourned Ramírez on Twitter, where Ramírez's death was a worldwide trending topic. Juanes quoted from a favorite Kraken song called “Muere Libre” (“Die Free”).

Ramírez was a legend on the Colombian rock scene whose fame incited rumors, including one that he was set to replace Freddie Mercury as the lead singer of Queen, according to newspaper reports.

Kraken, considered one of Colombia’s most iconic rock bands, came out of Medellín in the mid-1980s and had a string of hits including “Vestido de Cristal” and “Lenguaje de mi Piel.” The band’s latest album, Kraken VI, was released last fall, after Ramírez had been treated for a brain tumor in 2015. At the end of 2016 he was again admitted to a hospital in Medellín, where he passed away.

“Your spirit will remain in each of us,” his bandmates posted on Kraken’s Facebook page. “In our days, in our projects and even in each breath.”