Salsa Music Trailblazer Johnny Pacheco Dies at 85 After Being Hospitalized with Pneumonia: Reports

Dominican icon Johnny Pacheco has died, according to multiple reports. He was 85.

The salsa trailblazer died Monday after being hospitalized for pneumonia, according to the Dominican Republic's Diario Libre. The day before, his wife Cuqui asked fans to pray for the star, the newspaper reported.

A winner of the lifetime achievement award at the 2005 Latin Grammys, Pacheco was a trailblazer in the genre of salsa. He founded Fania Records and led the salsa scene in New York in the 60s and 70s.

With more than 150 songs under his name, Pacheco was also the creator (and a member) of the Fania All-Stars, a musical group that saw the likes of Willie Colón, Celia Cruz, Héctor Lavoe and El Conde Rodriguez.

"RIP my dear friend and teacher. Founder of Fania Records, Johnny Pacheco. Único," wrote Colón on Twitter.

"Johnny Pacheco, one of those responsible for the movement of salsa music that shook America and the world, has passed away," tweeted a fan.

Pacheco's albums — 1979's Cross Over and Eternos, 1985's De Nuevo and 1988's Salsobita — were all nominated for Grammy Awards. He also recorded an album with the late Celia Cruz, titled Celia & Johnny.

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