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Mexican ballad singer Joan Sebastian dies at 64

FILE - In this Nov. 15, 2012, file photo, Joan Sebastian performs at the 13th Annual Latin Grammy Awards at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The Mexican Television chain Televisa announced on Monday, July 13, 2015, that Sebastian has died after a long battle with cancer. (Photo by Al Powers/Powers Imagery/Invision/AP, File)

FILE - In this Nov. 15, 2012, file photo, Joan Sebastian performs at the 13th Annual Latin Grammy Awards at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The Mexican Television chain Televisa announced on Monday, July 13, 2015, that Sebastian has died after a long battle with cancer. (Photo by Al Powers/Powers Imagery/Invision/AP, File)

Joan Sebastian, one of Mexico's great ballad singers, died Monday at age 64.

A representative of Universal Music Latin Entertainment-Fonovisa confirmed his death, but did not specify the cause. Sebastian had battled cancer for years.

He was best known for sentimental love songs like "Tatuajes" and "Secreto de Amor," sometimes set to simple guitar arrangements and sometimes sung on horseback.

Sebastian won five Grammy awards and seven Latin Grammy prizes during his career.

He reached nearly the same level of adoration as Vicente Fernandez, the king of Mexico's "ranchero" country-ballad music who outlived him.

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Born José Manuel Figueroa, Sebastian had eight children with five women. Two of his sons were killed in separate incidents in 2006 and 2010, triggering speculation the singer might have been involved in the drug underworld. He strenuously denied that.

Burial plans were not immediately announced.

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