Héctor Juan Pérez Martínez better known as Hector Lavoe, was an iconic Puerto Rican salsa singer. Hector Lavoe is considered to be possibly the best and most important singer and interpreter in the history of salsa music because he helped to establish the popularity of this musical genre in the decades of 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
He started in the 60s to mesmerize his fans with his unique style of music. Hector headed to the evening of his days in the late 80s when he started suffering depression and addiction which were all worsened by a diagnosis of HIV.
Here’s everything you need to know about the life and death of the iconic salsa singer Hector Lavoe, Wife, Son, net worth, death cause and more.
Hector Lavoe Net Worth
Hector Lavoe had a net worth of $1 million. With no formal musical training, Hector Lavoe made so much money in his active days.
Quick Facts of Héctor Juan Pérez Martínez
|Name:||Héctor Juan Pérez Martínez|
|Also Known As:||Hector Lavoe, El Cantante De Los Cantantes|
|Wife:||Nilda Puchi Roman Perez (aka Nilda Lavoe)|
|Net Worth:||$1 million|
|Date of Birth:||1946-09-30|
|Date of Death:||June 29, 1993|
|Height:||6 ft 6 in|
Héctor Lavoe’s Biography
Héctor Lavoe was born Héctor Juan Pérez Martínez on September 30, 1946, to his parents; Francisca (Pachita) Martínez and Luis Pérez, in Ponce, Puerto Rico.
It was indeed a matter of heredity for the singer who grew up in a family of musically inclined people. His father was very good with the guitar and his mother was known for her unique singing voice.
Hector toed the line of his parents and made a career out of his passion for music. He attended Juan Morel Campos Public School of Music where his inclination to music continued to develop.
Influenced by Jesús Sánchez Erazo and Daniel Santos, he soon quit school and set his sail towards a singing career.
In 1963, he moved to New York City and started out as the vocalist of a sextet formed by Roberto Garcia. He was 17 at the time and collaborated with music groups like Orquesta New York, Kako All-Stars, and Johnny Pacheco who co-owned Fania Records. Hector came in contact with Willie Colon, a salsa musician in 1967.
After several talks with Willie, Lavoe was recorded on a track of Colon’s first album El Malo. Lavoe’s voice and carriage were indeed the best and Colon held on to the precious gift he had received – Lavoe.
The album was finally released and it was a huge commercial success that shot both Colon and Lavoe to prominence and pushed them to great financial heights too.
They both counted in millions following the success of the album. The two embarked on several tours promoting the album and subsequent ones that immediately followed.
In 1973 Lavoe went solo and led his own band and started touring with the band, performing their own songs. He recorded songs like “El Cantante”, “Bandolera” and “El periódico de Ayer” and many others in his solo career.
During this time, he also performed as an invited vocalist in the Fania All-Stars and recorded many songs with them.
About Hector Lavoe Wife, His Sons, Daughter & Grandson
Hector Lavoe Wife, Nilda Roman Perez (aka Nilda Lavoe) died in 2002, nine years after the death of her husband. Her full maiden name is Nilda Puchi Roman Perez and She was 52 years old when she died.
While filming a documentary ‘El Cantante’ on her late husband, Nilda Román Perez tragically fell off her 14th story window, and died, having suffered severe head trauma.
Hector Lavoe and Nilda Roman Perez shared a son, Hector Jr. together. Hector Jr also died in 1969 after he was mistakenly shot by his father’s friend. Lavoe was a stepfather to Nilda’s daughter Leslie.
How did Hector Lavoe Die?
In the late 70s, Hector got caught up in severe depression and resorted to drugs. His addiction grew worse as the years went by and Lavoe sought assistance from a priest to help with his drug addiction.
He got into rehab and was responding to therapy until he was hit by devastating developments of the deaths of his son, mother, and father-in-law and a diagnosis of HIV. This caused Lavoe to go back to his old ways of drugs. He was depressed to the extent of attempting suicide.
Lavoe recorded an album during this time although his health was already deteriorating. The singer’s last performances were in 1990 when he sang with the Fania All-Stars in New Jersey, and in 1992, at the club S.O.B.’s in New York. He died at the age of 46 on June 29, 1993, after a complication from AIDS.
Hector Lavoe’s Funeral
On 29 June 1993, Hector’s funeral was done at ST CECILIA’S CHURCH, and buried in ST RAYMON”S CEMETRY.
Frequently Asked Questions
What did Hector Lavoe died of?
Lavoe died in 1993, at 46, from cardiac arrest, possibly from complications of AIDS.
What about Nilda Roman Perez death, How did she die?
While filming a documentary ‘El Cantante’ on her late husband, Nilda Román Perez tragically fell off her 14th story window, and died in 2002, having suffered severe head trauma.
Listen to El Cantante (salsa) by Hector Lavoe below.