Cuban singer-songwriter Pablo Milanés died Monday in Madrid, after being hospitalized for a series of cancer-related infections. He was 79.
Milanés press office had reported a series of recurrent infections that in the last three months have been affecting his state of health.
This clinical situation is secondary to an oncohematological disease that he has been suffering from for several years and that required him to settle in Madrid at the end of 2017 to receive treatment, the statement also read.
All his singing engagements had been canceled earlier this year.
Together with Silvio Rodríguez, Milanés was an icon of the Nueva Trova Cubana movement.
With great pain and sadness, we regret to inform you that maestro Pablo Milanés passed away this early morning of November 22 in Madrid. We deeply appreciate all the expressions of affection and support, to all his family and friends, in these difficult moments. May he rest in the love and peace he has always transmitted. He will remain eternally in our memory, his Instagram page announced.
Son of Ángel Milanés and Conchita Arias, Milanés was born on February 24, 1943, in Bayamo, Oriente province, now Granma province, Cuba. His family moved to Havana in the 1950s. He studied at the municipal conservatory in Havana and later perfected his guitar playing. His career began at the age of 16.
In the late 1960s, along with Silvio Rodríguez and Noel Nicola, he was one of the founders of the movement known as the new Cuban Trova. He released 50 albums and more than 600 songs. He won two Grammys in 2006.
He was a supporter of Fidel Castro's regime although on several occasions he expressed his dissent with the hardening of the government's policies. I am a standard bearer of the revolution, not of the government. If the revolution gets stuck, it becomes orthodox, reactionary, contrary to the ideas that originated it; one has to fight, he said.
Milanés had eight children. One of them, Suylén Milanés Bennett, the eldest of the three daughters he had with Yolanda Benett, died in January this year in Havanna at the age of 50. She too was a musician and singer.
Suylén Milanés left two children: Pablo Rentería Milanés, from her first marriage with Mauricio Rentería, and Camila Guevara Milanés, from her involvement with Camilo Guevara March, son of Argentine revolutionary leader Ernesto (Che) Guevara.
It is perfectly right to say then that Pablo Milanés and Che Guevara had a granddaughter in common.
Camilo Guevara too died this year at the age of 60 in Caracas.