Latin

Latin Artists React to Johnny Ventura's Death: 'You Are a Great Defender of Merengue Music'

Johnny Ventura and Milly Quezada
JB Lacroix/WireImage

Johnny Ventura and Milly Quezada perform onstage during the 2016 Person of the Year honoring Marc Anthony at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on November 16, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Latin music industry is mourning the death of iconic merengue singer Johnny Ventura, who died of a sudden heart attack on Wednesday (July 28) at 81 years old.

Known as “El Caballo Mayor,” Ventura (real name Juan de Dios Ventura Soriano) was pronounced dead at Clínica Unión Medica del Norte in Santiago, according to El Tiempo.

On Instagram, artists such as Daddy Yankee, Prince Royce, and Milly Quezada have expressed their love and gratitude for the late singer-songwriter, arranger, and band leader.

“The irreparable loss of Johnny Ventura for me and my work team, led by my Manager Pedro Núñez Del Risco, is totally tragic and difficult to assimilate,” Quezada, who has collaborated with Ventura multiple times, expressed on Instagram.

Dominican bachata crooner Prince Royce said: “Your music will always be part of the soundtrack of our lives and your legacy will be a source of pride for our country and our people.”

Reggaeton superstar Daddy Yankee noted that the “owner of merengue” will always be a “great inspiration.”

“My admiration for you always,” Puerto Rican merengue artist Olga Tañon also wrote. “You always treated me with so much affection and respect! I made my dream of recording with you a reality! You are a great defender of merengue music for the whole world!”

Born in La Vega, Dominican Republic, Ventura kicked off his career in the early ‘60s. Some of his biggest titles include tropical hits such as “Patacon Pisao,” “¿Pitaste?,” and “Merenguero Hasta la Tambora,” all of which have become a staple in any Latin household.

Ventura’s timeless music has entered various Billboard charts, including Hot Latin Songs, Top Latin Albums, Tropical Airplay, and Tropical Albums.

A  number funeral services will take place from Thursday, July 29, to Saturday, July 31, in The Dominican Republic. See below for more information and artists' reactions.

Daddy Yankee

Milly Quezada

Prince Royce

Olga Tañon

Maffio

Gilberto Santa Rosa

Victor Manuelle

Courtesy Photo