Late Mexican superstar Jose Jose's body goes missing

AFP
Mexico City Published: Oct 01, 2019, 10:20 AM(IST)

File image of Jose Jose Photograph:( Twitter )

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Jose Romulo Sosa Ortiz, a superstar singer of Latin love songs better known by his stage name, Jose Jose, died Saturday at age 71 outside Miami, according to the Mexican government.

Legendary Mexican singer Jose Jose's legions of fans had not even finished processing the news of his death when a mystery exploded amid the mourning: where is the body of "The Prince of Song"?

Jose Romulo Sosa Ortiz, a superstar singer of Latin love songs better known by his stage name, Jose Jose, died Saturday at age 71 outside Miami, according to the Mexican government.

Emotional fans were still belting out his classic hits through tears in Claveria, his native Mexico City neighborhood, when the loss took a telenovela-like turn: Jose Jose's two oldest children, Jose Joel and Marysol, accused their younger half-sister and her mother of hiding his body.

When Jose Joel and Marysol, whose mother was the second of Jose Jose's three wives, arrived Sunday at the funeral home where they thought his wake would be held, they were told their father's body was not there.

They said their father's third wife, Sara Salazar, and her daughter Sarita refused to tell them where it is or what the funeral plans are.
As comparisons to Elvis Presley began to fly -- is he REALLY dead? -- Jose Joel and Marysol went to the police station in Cutler Bay, Florida, to file a report on his missing remains.

"If I don't see my dad's body I can't believe anything. Nothing," Marysol told journalists outside the station house.

"To be clear: We aren't fighting for his money or his inheritance, we aren't interested in that," said Jose Joel.

He called for an autopsy, urged the Mexican government to intervene and suggested that Sarita was acting "as if it were part of a contract" to sell exclusive media rights to their father's funeral.

Telenovela villain 

In an exclusive interview with Spanish-language TV network Univision on Sunday, Sarita, 25, made an appeal for family unity and said it was "still very early to decide what will be done" with the remains.

She blamed the confusion surrounding her father's body on US regulations on handling remains.

"US laws are very strict. Unfortunately, not even his wife has been able to view the body," she wrote in a statement published Monday on the Instagram account of a Univision program called "El Gordo y La Flaca."

"People of Mexico: we will bring him to Mexico so you can say goodbye. We promise you will be able to hold a wake for him," she added.

Memes comparing Sarita to the most iconic villains of Mexico's melodramatic telenovela soap operas went viral on social networks.
In Claveria, the singer's native barrio, fans gathered around a statue of him and chanted: "We want them to give us back Jose Jose!"
"He was a great man, for his voice but above all for his sensitivity... He was a great man of the people," Rogelio Cuevas, an 86-year-old neighbor, told AFP.

Mexico City authorities are planning a mass karaoke tribute to the late crooner Friday outside the Palace of Fine Arts.

Velvety voice 

With his velvety voice and songs for jilted lovers, Jose Jose sold more than 120 million albums in a career spanning over five decades.

The Latin Recording Academy, which gave him a lifetime achievement award in 2004 and named him its person of the year in 2005, said "his music and voice will forever reign in the history of Ibero-American music."

Jose Jose was known for his openness about his personal life, including his romances and struggles with alcoholism. He quit drinking in 1993, but health issues led him to give up singing in the early 2000s.

He married three times and fathered three children. He wed his Cuban third wife, Salazar, in 1995, then moved to Miami with her.
He had been hospitalized for pancreatic cancer, though Sarita told Univision he was in remission.

Relations had long been strained between her and her half-siblings, who claim she prevented them from seeing their father in later years.

Jose Jose had ceded the rights to his songs to Sarita, and Mexican media reported that she also convinced him to sign the rights to his life story over to her.

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