Catalina Maria Johnson

International radio broadcaster, bilingual cultural journalist, music curator

Worldview

Global Notes: Remembering Juan Gabriel

Eduardo Verdugo/AP

On this week’s Global Notes, we remember Mexican pop music superstar Juan Gabriel (affectionately known as “JuanGa”). He died in late August of a heart attack hours after performing in California.

Gabriel was honored over two days in his home town of Ciudad Juarez, with thousands of fans turning out for a Monday and Tuesday memorial service and concert. He was a major musical figure in Mexico for decades as well as an icon on both sides of the border and one of the few gender-fluid artists to have flourished in intensely macho Mexican society.

JuanGa’s music was the soundtrack to many Mexicans’ entire lives and his untimely death at 66 leaves a vacuum in Mexico’s musical landscape.

Catalina Maria Johnson from Beat Latino joins Morning Shift and Radio M host Tony Sarabia to discuss some favorite Juan Gabriel tunes and his musical legacy.