ENTERTAINMENT

Juan Gabriel's remains will be transferred from L.A. to Mexico for massive tribute

The body of music legend Juan Gabriel remains at a funeral home near the Los Angeles Airport awaiting to be transferred to Mexico in a private airplane, Entravision, a news outlet based in Santa Monica, California, reported Monday.

The beloved rancheras singer and composer died of a heart attack Sunday at his home in Santa Monica at age 66. Entravision said no autopsy will be performed because the flamboyant performer died of natural causes and no investigation is needed.

Mexico’s leading newspaper, El Universal, reported that his body will be transported on Wednesday and taken to his relatives in Juarez, according to Chihuahua Governor Cesar Duarte.

The governor also said he has asked the singer’s relatives to hold a tribute in Ciudad Juarez before he is moved to Mexico City for burial.

"People in Juarez are clamoring for a tribute," the governor said. "The family will have to make the decision. Ivan, his son, has been very saddened, he has not made any decisions yet,” he said.

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Juan Gabriel was Mexico's leading singer-songwriter and top-selling artist. His ballads about love, heartbreak and bouncy mariachi tunes became hymns throughout Latin America and Spain and with Spanish speakers in the United States.

In Mexico City, hundreds of people gathered in Garibaldi Plaza, the birthplace of mariachis and popular culture, to mourn for Juan Gabriel in one of many impromptu events at which the singer's fans tried to find solace.

Fans headed to the legendary Salon Tenampa, known for its live performances and frequented by artists like Chavela Vargas and Frida Kahlo, to honor the singer.

"He'll be in the hearts of all of us, there's no reason to be sad, he leaves us many songs, much enthusiasm and much joy," mariachi singer Miguel Angel Gonzalez told EFE.

Gonzalez said Juan Gabriel, with whom he performed four years ago at the National Auditorium, had the ability to "fill hearts."

Mexico’s Secretary of Culture Rafael Tovar y de Teresa the government will make the Palace of Fine Arts available for a massive tribute of the musical icon.

"We are ready to receive him, as we did with Cantinflas, Maria Felix, Dolores del Rio, Rufino Tamayo and all the great figures of Mexican culture," explained Tovar y de Teresa in an interview with television Hechos.

AP and EFE contributed to this report.

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