Legendary Mexican singer Armando Manzanero dies aged 85 after battling Covid-19

The star's works have been covered by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley

Mexican singer-songwriter Armando Manzanero, famed for his romantic ballads that were sung by a number of international stars, has died, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday. He was 85.

During a seven-decade career, Manzanero won a Grammy, recorded dozens of albums, scored numerous films and composed more than 400 songs, including Somos Novios (We're Lovers) and Contigo Aprendi (With You, I Learned).

Lopez Obrador, who announced Manzanero's death during a news conference, expressed great regret at his passing, and brought the media gathering to a premature end.

Born on December 7, 1935 in Mexico's Yucatan state, Manzanero was hospitalised in December after contracting Covid-19, his family said.

The prolific writer of ballads and boleros began studying music as a child and wrote his first tune aged 15, kicking off a long career that in 2014 made him the first Mexican artist to win a Grammy award.

Somos Novios made Billboard magazine's list of 50 best songs in the history of Latin music.

Renowned singers Andrea Bocelli, Elvis Presley, Celia Cruz, Frank Sinatra, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera are among the many people who performed his works, and the late Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez once called Manzanero "one of the greatest current poets of the Spanish language".

Manzanero recognised his talent for infusing his melodies with romantic longing.

"The best language for love is song," he once said in an interview. "Just as the lungs need air, romance needs a song."

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