Spanish flamenco star Enrique Morente dead at 67: family

13th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

One of Spain's leading flamenco singers, Enrique Morente, died Monday at a Madrid hospital where he had been in coma following an operation for an ulcer, his family said. He was 67.

Morente had been in a coma since he underwent emergency surgery at La Luz private hospital on December 6, just two days after having the ulcer operation.

Earlier on Monday his family had said the singer had been diagnosed as brain dead although his vital signs were stable.

Criticised by some of his peers for having played with musicians from other musical styles, his admirers hail his constant efforts to modernise the centuries-old musical style that has come to represent Spain.

Born December 25, 1942 in the gypsy quarter of Granada in southern Spain, he learned flamenco from his family and other performers in the city before moving to Madrid at the age of 18 to start his career as a professional singer.

He often repeated that flamenco required a flawless technique and he adopted flamenco works by Spanish poets such as Federico Garcia Lorca and Antonio Machado.

Morente was married to the dancer Aurora Carbonell and has three daughters, one of them the popular flamenco singer Estrella Morente who was chosen by Oscar-winning Spanish director Pedro Almodovar to interpret the main theme of his 2006 film "Volver".

He had been working on a new album titled "El barbero de Picasso", or "Picasso's Barber", a tribute to the great Spanish painter born in Malaga.

© 2010 AFP

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