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article image'Que Viva España': Singer Manolo Escobar dies at 82 from cancer

By Anne Sewell     Oct 25, 2013 in Entertainment
Benidorm - Spanish singer Manuel García Escobar, better known as Manolo Escobar, made famous by one of Spain's best-selling songs, "Y Viva España," passed away on Thursday after a long battle with cancer.
Escobar had been under treatment at the Hospital Clinica for colon cancer in the resort of Benidorm in the community of Valencia for some time. However, he returned home for his final moments.
An unnamed hospital official said, "He was a patient at the clinic but he left on Tuesday and died at home."
Spain's Minister of Culture said in a statement on Thursday that Escobar was "a symbol who lived in the musical landscape of Spaniards for half a century."
Escobar had a great following in Spain during the 1960's and 1970's, and his hits included "El Porompompero", but it was his best-selling version of the song "Y Viva España" that really brought him into the limelight and made him an international star.
AFP reports that there were many farewell messages on Twitter including Spanish actor, Santiago Segura, who wrote:
"Manolo Escobar, a loving family man, collector of art, kind and likeable, a singer to the end, to the end of the world... goodbye!"
One of the last acts performed by Escobar was in July 2010, when, wearing a yellow shirt and red jacket and tie, he sang along with the Spanish football team to celebrate their victory in the World Cup in South Africa (as can be seen in the video above).
While he continued to perform for some time, Escobar announced his retirement from music at the end of 2012, after 50 years of performing on stage.
In an interview with the Spanish newspaper ABC recently, Escobar said:
"Music is my life, I will never surrender."
"I am happy because I have work and because, moreover, people are still prepared to pay to see me on stage. I want to return to a few of the places I have been to in my career of more than 50 years and say goodbye for good. I will sing one more time in each one so that I don't go back."
Regrettably, due to falling ill, Escobar had to cancel the final acts of his farewell tour last month.
Escobar was born on October 19, 1931, the fifth of 10 children in the small village of Las Norias de Daza, El Ejido in Almería, Andalucía, Spain.
Manolo Escobar  famous for the song  Y Viva España   passed away at the age of 82 on Thursday Octob...
Manolo Escobar, famous for the song "Y Viva España", passed away at the age of 82 on Thursday October 24, 2013. Here he is singing in Barcelona in 2010.
He started his musical career as a child in the years following the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) by playing at festivals and fairs with his brothers and sisters, first in his native Andalucía, and later in Barcelona, where he moved while an adolescent.
According to ABC (Spanish language) it was in the early 1960s that Escobar shot to fame with shows in Barcelona and Madrid, and also for a role in a film, The guerrillas by Pedro L. Ramirez.
He later appeared in another film Father Manolo, in which he played a singing priest.
Escobar also had his own TV show, Canta Manolo Escobar (Manolo Escobar Sings) in the 1960's.
But it was in 1973 that the iconic "Y Viva España" was released, selling an estimated 6 million copies, making him one of Spain's best-selling recording artists. The song was loved by Spaniards and tourists alike.
After music, Escobar made painting his next passion and reportedly amassed quite a collection of art.
He has lived in Benidorm for the last two decades with his German wife, Ana Marx Schiffer, whom he married in 1959, and with whom he had one daughter, Vanessa.
Escobar has an impressive discography of music, but his most famous song, "Y Viva España", is what will be playing in Spain today.
Anyone who would like to listen to a YouTube mix of Escobar's songs can enjoy them on YouTube here.
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