Armando Manzanero, the celebrated Mexican singer-songwriter whose compositions include the standard “It’s Impossible,” died Monday of complications due to Covid-19. He was 85.
According to Mexico’s El Universal, Manzanero tested positive for the coronavirus on December 17 and was intubated five days later. He was stable until Sunday night.
Manzanero is known for composing hundreds of songs, many of which were translated to English including “Somos Novios,” which was recorded in English as “It’s Impossible” by Perry Como and Elvis Presley. He also wrote the classics “Adoro” and “Esta tarde vi llover” and was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys in 2014. Most recently, he was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2020 Billboard Latin Music Awards.
Harvey Mason Jr., chair & interim president/CEO of the Recording Academy, and Gabriel Abaroa Jr. president and CEO of The Latin Recording Academy, released a statement upon hearing the news of Manzanero’s death:
One of the world’s most prominent and acclaimed Latin music composers, Armando Manzanero needs no introduction. He began his career at the age of 15 with the first of what would be more than 400 original works composed over a span of more than seven decades. Transcending languages, genres and generations, Manzanero’s songs have been performed by many artists, from Perry Como, Elis Regina and Elvis Presley to Tania Libertad, Gal Costa and Eugenia León.
Manzanero was a Latin Grammy winner and the recipient of Lifetime Achievement Awards from both The Latin Recording Academy and the Recording Academy. Most importantly, he was a great friend and supporter of the Latin Academy. He will be greatly missed, but his melodies and larger-than-life personality will live on forever.
His passing is a great loss for the world of music. Our hearts go out to the Manzanero family, to the Mexican Society of Songwriters, to his fans and to all of Mexico during this difficult time.
Manzanero received a 1971 Grammy nomination for Song of the Year for co-writing the instant standard “It’s Impossible,” which was a top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 for Como.
The musician served as the president of Mexico’s Society of Authors and Composers (SACM) until 2011. The official SACM Twitter account paid tribute to Manzanero, remembering him as an “exceptional composer” and the “romantic soul of Mexico.”
“He was one of the greatest artists of our time, creator of the ‘most beautiful music of the world,'” stated SACM’s Twitter post.
— SACM México (@SACM_Oficial) December 28, 2020
Over his seven-decade career, Manzanero composed more than 600 songs including “Nunca en el mundo,” “Te Extraño” and “Contigo Aprendí.” The latter was one of four songs Luis Miguel recorded as part of 1997’s Romances, an album co-produced by Manzanero.
Many musicians took to social media to honor the singer-songwriter. Marc Anthony wrote: “The maestro Armando Manzanero left us today. A person with a ginormous talent, an admirable man who with his music and songwriting inspired so many of us. In the midst of the sadness for his passing, I’m thankful for the blessing of his musical legacy. Thank you for so much, maestro.”
Hoy nos deja el maestro #ArmandoManzanero. Un talento gigante, hombre admirable que con su música y sus letras fue inspiración para muchos de nosotros. En medio de la tristeza por su partida agradezco la bendición de su legado musical. Gracias por tanto maestro. #LaMusicaNoMuere pic.twitter.com/ooeqwyRvev
— Marc Anthony (@MarcAnthony) December 28, 2020
Maluma wrote on Instagram: “I’ll keep this memory forever. Today, one of my biggest inspirations died. Sending greetings to his family members. I’m with you from afar.”
Paulina Rubio posted a video with the caption: “One of Mexico and of the world’s greatest. Your passing hurts us. We’re blessed to have your music. Sending a big hug to his family.”