Miami pays tribute to Jose Jose, the ‘Prince of Song’
MIAMI: Hundreds of fans of legendary Mexican singer Jose Jose made their impassioned goodbyes in a Miami auditorium following his recent death, though some uncertainty remained over a possible homage in his home country.
The gold-colored coffin containing his body arrived late Sunday morning at the auditorium, following a procession through Miami streets that was saluted along its route by people waving and crying.
The memorial ceremony began at midday, with a mariachi band performing the singer’s song “Lo pasado, pasado.” His youngest daughter, Sarita Sosa, addressed the crowd in emotional tones.
“Thank you for remembering my dad, for having him in your hearts, so that his music will never die,” she said, sobbing. “Thank you for coming — you are our family — all of Miami.”
The city’s mayor, Carlos Gimenez, added: “He never let fame change him. Until the end he was a humble and caring man.”
The popular entertainer, whose was born Jose Romulo Sosa Ortiz, died September 28 in Miami, aged 71, after a long battle against pancreatic cancer.
Over a 55-year career, he became one of the most successful performers in the Spanish-speaking world, selling more than 100 million albums and receiving multiple Grammy nominations.
He was remembered in a private ceremony Friday at a Miami funeral home, as fans stood outside singing his hit tunes, such as “El Triste.”
Family members have given unclear answers when asked by reporters where the remains of Jose Jose — whose popularity extended through much of Latin America and far beyond — would go next.
His third wife, the Cuban Sara Salazar, responded affirmatively when a reporter for Spanish-language network Telemundo asked whether the singer’s coffin would be sent to Mexico so the “Prince of Song” could be honored in his home country.
But a longtime family friend, Luis Ernesto Berrios, said that regardless of any homage in Mexico, Jose Jose would be buried in Miami.
He said Salazar had made that clear. “She wants him to be here,” he said. “She wants to have a place in Miami to cry and bring flowers to her husband.”