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Johnny Ventura, Dominican merengue legend, dies at 81

Johnny Ventura, Dominican musician, dies at 81 5:00

(CNN Spanish) – The legend of the Dominican merengue Juan de Dios Ventura Soriano, known as Johnny Ventura, died this Wednesday, his son Jandy Ventura confirmed to CNN.

The 81-year-old artist died of a heart attack at the Clínica Unión Médica in the city of Santiago, he said.

The “Caballo Mayor”, as he was also known, is one of the most beloved singer-songwriters in the Dominican Republic and his pieces were also part of the repertoire of other great Latin American artists.

Ventura told CNN in 2020 that merengue is part of the DNA of all Dominicans.

This is how they reacted around the world to the death of Johnny Ventura

Dominican personalities and great figures of music mourned the death of the musician.

Raquel Arbaje, Dominican first lady, said that “it is a very sad day for merengue and for the Dominican Republic.”

Reggaeton Don Omar said it was a “great honor to have met you and my greatest privilege to have been able to call you FRIEND”.

Singer Olga Tañón described him as “a great defender of merengue for the whole world.”

Natti Natasha said he was the “undisputed king of meringue”.

Pedro Pierluisi, governor of Puerto Rico, said that Ventura was “a star that raised the meringue worldwide and Puerto Rico was his home.”

Bachata artist Prince Royce assured that his “music will always be part of the soundtrack of our lives and your legacy is a source of pride for our country and our people.”

Meanwhile, Luis Enrique pointed out that Ventura “left a mark on the hearts of everyone who knew him.”

The legacy of Johnny Ventura

In 2020 he spoke with Camilo Egaña, and clarified the story of his relationship with another of the legends of the Dominican merengue, Wilfrido Vargas. The “big horse” stressed that he himself was in charge of guiding Vargas when he began his musical career. “Wilfrido treats me with great affection and respect,” said the 80-year-old singer at the time.

Johnny Ventura denies enmity with Wilfrido Vargas 2:26

In addition to his artistic career, he had 50 years in politics. With his experience as a congressman and mayor, Ventura disproved the saying that politics is dirty. “No, there are dirty politicians,” said the Dominican, and said that the responsibility of replacing these characters rests with the people.

Johnny Ventura reflects after 50 years in politics 1:42

Ventura spoke with Camilo about the importance of communication to achieve a fight-free and long-lasting marriage like his, of almost 50 years, with Josefina Flores.

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