Argentine balladeer Sandro, an iconic singer whose trademark, emotional voice touched generations of listeners from the 1960s to today, died Monday night in a hospital in Mendoza, Argentina. He was 64.

The singer, whose real name was Roberto Sánchez, had undergone a heart and lung transplant in late November, and his condition had worsened in the past month.

Sandro gained local and international fame in the 1960s as a rock 'n roll singer whose style and dance movements were compared to those of Elvis Presley. But with time, he evolved into a pop singer who could navigate both uptempo fare as well as big ballads. Sandro penned songs that would become Latin American classics, such as “Rosa Rosa,” “Trigal” and “Una Muchacha y Una Guitarra,” singing them with a dramatic flair that made women of all ages swoon. In 1970, Sandro played New York’s Madison Square Garden, a first for a Latin act, according to multiple published reports.

Sandro launched his career in the early 1960s with the group Los de Fuego, often recording Spanish language covers of rock 'n roll hits like “Love Potion No. 9” and later, “House of the Rising Sun.” But in 1966 he split with Los de Fuego and turned to more melodic material that solidified his popularity across many Spanish-speaking countries, earning him the moniker “Sandro de América.” Many of Sandro’s hits have continued to be covered by multiple acts through generations.
In his lifetime, Sandro would record over 30 albums and act in at least a dozen films.

At the time of his death, legions of fans flocked the hospital in the city of Mendoza, where he was being treated, and later, his home. Sandro’s body is being flown to Buenos Aires and he will be mourned in Argentina’s Congressional building. He is survived by his wife, Olga Garaventa.