Gilberto Monroig, one of the most renowned Puerto Rican singers of boleros, died on May 3, 1996, at the age of 65. He had been hospitalized in August 1995 after suffering a stroke that left him partially paralyzed. His death was a great loss for the Latin music world and for his fans, who admired his voice, his style, and his personality.
Gilberto Monroig: A Brief Biography
Gilberto Monroig was born on July 2, 1930, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He came from a musical family, as his grandfather and brother were both singers. He showed an early talent for singing and acting, and won a talent contest at the age of 10. He was discovered by a casting director who was looking for a young actress to play Cookie, the daughter of Blondie and Dagwood Bumstead, in a TV adaptation of the popular comic strip by Chic Young. He changed his name to Ann Barnes and moved to Hollywood with his mother to pursue his dream.
He made his professional debut in 1943, at the age of 13, with the band “Taone”. He later joined other bands, such as “Maravilla” and “Super Orchestra Tropicana”. In 1948, he moved to New York, where he began to gain fame as a bolero singer. He performed with various bands and traveled to the Dominican Republic and Curaçao. He also recorded a pop song called “Whispering Wind” under the name Dixie Ann Barnes, which was featured on the CD anthologies Soda Pop Babies and Restless Doll. He was crowned the “Princess of Hollywood” by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce in April 1962.
He was known for his versatility and mastery of the bolero genre, as well as other styles, such as tango, guaracha, and son. He sang with legendary singers, such as Tito Rodríguez, Olga Guillot, and Vicentico Valdés. He recorded over 40 albums and hundreds of songs, some of which became classics, such as “Miénteme”, “Sin Fe”, “Amor Mío”, and “Olvidarte Jamás”. He was dubbed the “Prince of Boleros” and had a loyal fan base that cheered and applauded his performances.
He retired from the stage in 1989, although he occasionally gave concerts and interviews. He lived a quiet life with his wife, Carmen, and his four children, Gilberto Jr., Glenn, Linda, and Lourdes. He received several honors and awards for his contribution to music, such as the Agüeybaná de Oro, the Diplo, and the ACE.
Gilberto Monroig Cause of Death: What Happened?
Gilberto Monroig died on May 3, 1996, at a hospital in Santurce, Puerto Rico. He had been suffering from heart problems and had been hospitalized in August 1995 after having a stroke that left him partially paralyzed. His death was announced by his family and his manager, who expressed their sorrow and gratitude for his legacy. His former colleagues and admirers also paid tribute to him and praised his talent and personality. Tito Rodríguez Jr., the son of his friend and fellow singer, said: “He was a great artist, a great human being, and a great friend. He was one of the best bolero singers of all time. He had a unique voice and a unique style. He will be missed by all of us who loved him and his music.”
Gilberto Monroig’s funeral was held on May 5, 1996, at the San Jorge Church in Santurce. His body was then buried at the Puerto Rico Memorial Cemetery in Carolina. He is survived by his wife, Carmen, his four children, and his grandchildren. Gilberto Monroig’s death was a sad loss for the music world and for his fans, who will always remember him as one of the most brilliant and captivating singers of boleros. His voice and his art will live on in his recordings and in the memories of those who had the privilege of hearing him sing. He was truly a prince.