Saturday, January 3, 2004

'Buena vista club' singer remembered

With his trademark hat on his head, his guitar case at his side and a cigar in his fingers, a life-sized statue of late Cuban musician Compay Segundo was unveiled in the patio of a Havana hotel.

"We welcome Compay Segundo," Cuban musicologist Lino Betancourt during this week's presentation at the historic Hotel Nacional. "We thank him for his smile, we thank him for his example, we thank him for his 'Chan Chan,' " Betancourt added, referring to one of the musician's most popular songs.

Born Maximo Francisco Repilado Munoz in eastern Cuba, the man later nicknamed Compay Segundo was 95 when he died July 13 of kidney failure. He skyrocketed to international fame with his performance on the 1997 Grammy-winning record The Buena Vista Social Club.

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