Locals react to passing of Mexican singer-singerwriter, Juan Gabriel

Posted at 2:07 AM, Aug 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-29 05:07:33-04

The Latino community in Bakersfield is mourning after hearing that iconic Mexican singer-songwriter, Juan Gabriel passed away. 

"The music he made was timeless and will be timeless," said local musician, Jaime Sanchez.

"I was surprised. I wasn't expecting to hear that today," said fan, Rico Cardoza.

"I didn't want to believe it at first. I thought it was some kind of hoax," said Rogelio Olea, local musician.

The 66-year-old superstar, born Alberto Aguilera Valadez, was found dead Sunday morning in his Santa Monica home.

The Los Angeles Coroner's office confirming the news, saying he died of a heart attack.

"It was devastating," said Sanchez, "my mom got a little teary-eyed because she was a fan of his."

Known for his flamboyant performances, Gabriel had a career that spanned more than 45 years.

The six-time Grammy nominee visited Bakersfield twice, with his most recent concert last November at the Rabobank Arena. 

"It was a big deal for everybody here. It was like, a major star. It was one of those concerts where everybody wants to go," said Cardoza.

Locals say his music resonated with everyone, young and old, as he sang about love and heartbreak. 

"His music is really deep and really mesmorizing," said Olea."

"You're there and he gets you so involved in the show that not a lot of people can do that," said Sanchez.

Gabriel's team releasing a statement saying in part, "He passed on to become part of eternity, and has left us his legacy..."

That's something his fans in Bakersfield will always remember."

"There probably will be no one else like him for time to come," said Sanchez.

"Rest in peace Juan Gabriel," said Olea.