Luisito Rey was a Spanish singer-songwriter and music executive who is best known as the father and first manager of Mexican superstar Luis Miguel. However, his life and death were surrounded by controversy, scandal, and mystery. What was the real cause of his death? And what secrets did he take to his grave?
A Troubled Life
Luisito Rey was born as Luis Gallego Sánchez on June 28, 1945, in Cádiz, Spain. He was the son of a flamenco singer turned electrician and a singer and dancer. He had two brothers, Vicente and Mario. From an early age, he showed a talent for music and started his career as a singer and guitarist. He adopted the stage name Luisito Rey, combining his father’s maternal surname and the diminutive of his first name.
He traveled to many countries in Latin America, where he met his future wife, Marcela Basteri, an Italian model, in Argentina. They had three sons: Luis Miguel, Alejandro, and Sergio. Luisito Rey was the one who discovered and launched the career of Luis Miguel, who became a child prodigy and a global sensation. However, he was also a strict and abusive manager who exploited and manipulated his son for his own benefit. He forced him to sing genres he did not like, such as boleros and mariachi, and to perform in exhausting tours and schedules. He also controlled his personal life and finances, and introduced him to drugs and alcohol at a young age.
Luisito Rey was also unfaithful to his wife and had several affairs with other women. He was addicted to cocaine and gambling, and had problems with the law and the tax authorities. He was accused of fraud, embezzlement, and money laundering. He also had a reputation for being arrogant, dishonest, and violent. He lied about many things, such as having a painting by Pablo Picasso, or having Frank Sinatra interested in recording one of his songs.
A Mysterious Death
Luisito Rey died on December 9, 1992, at the age of 47, in Barcelona, Spain. He was hospitalized for pneumonia, but his death was shrouded in mystery and speculation. Some sources claim that he died of complications from AIDS, which he contracted from one of his lovers. Others say that he died of a drug overdose, or that he was poisoned by someone who wanted revenge. There are also rumors that he was beaten to death by a group of men who were hired by Marcela Basteri, who had disappeared in 1986 and was never found.
According to the version of the writer Luisa Oceguera, who wrote a book about Luis Miguel’s life, Luisito Rey was attacked by four men in a hotel room, who broke his ribs, punctured his lungs, and left him bleeding. He managed to call an ambulance, but he died on the way to the hospital. Oceguera claims that she has a recording of Luisito Rey’s last words, in which he confessed his sins and asked for forgiveness. She also says that she knows who ordered the hit, but she does not reveal the name1
Luis Miguel never spoke publicly about his father’s death, nor did he attend his funeral. He severed all ties with him and his paternal family, and changed his surname to Basteri. He also inherited his father’s debts and legal troubles, which he had to deal with for years. He has said that he does not hate his father, but he does not love him either. He has also said that he does not know what happened to his mother, and that he hopes she is alive somewhere.
A Legacy of Controversy
Luisito Rey’s life and death have been the subject of many books, documentaries, and biopics. The most recent and popular one is the Netflix series Luis Miguel: The Series, which portrays his relationship with his son and his family. The series has sparked a renewed interest and debate about his character and his actions. Some people see him as a villain, a monster, and a criminal. Others see him as a victim, a misunderstood genius, and a tragic figure.
Luisito Rey’s cause of death remains a mystery that has not been officially confirmed or clarified. His legacy is a mix of fame, talent, success, and scandal. He is remembered as the father of Luis Miguel, one of the most influential and successful artists in Latin American history, but also as the man who ruined his life and his family.