joan sebastian

We are still mourning the loss of a legend. Joan Sebastian lost his battle with cancer and passed away on July 13th. This was the 64-year-old singer's third cancer diagnosis after battling with the illness for over a decade. Besides his iconic songs like "El Camino del Amor," we honor his strength and amazing spirit. Sebastian's journey to the top was one of sacrifice and struggle, but it came with plenty of surprises along the way. Here are eleven things you should know about the Poeta del Pueblo


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Image via Universal Music Latin Entertainment

He grew up very religious 1

He grew up very religious

Image via Mezcalent

Sebastian was actually born José Manuel Figueroa and he grew up in Juliantla, México. As a child, he lived with his abuela and planned on becoming a priest. His dad was totally against the idea and encouraged him to pursue music. Thankfully, he listened. 


He was an administrative assistant 2

He was an administrative assistant

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Before the Mexican singer's music career really took off, he was an administrative assistant at a hotel and tourism center in Morelos, Mexico. Fate would soon prove that Sebastian's destiny wasn't behind a desk. 


Angélica María changed his life 3

Angélica María changed his life

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The legendary actress and singer met Sebastian during a rookie performance in Oaxtepec back in 1968. She was instantly impressed with his natural talent and introduced him to famed producer Eduardo Magallanes.

His icon was Vicente Fernández 4

His icon was Vicente Fernández

Image via Star Productions

When Sebastian first launched his singing career, he was known for covering classics by Fernández. The five-time Grammy-winner developed a strong friendship with the man he admired from afar for so many years. 


He suffered the loss of two sons 5

He suffered the loss of two sons

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As a father of eight children, Sebastian suffered tremendous loss when two of his sons passed. His son Trigo Figueroa was shot in the back of the head during one of his dad's concerts in 2006. Four years later, his son Juan Sebastian was shot at a night club in Mexico. 


He was accused of being involved with the cartel 6

He was accused of being involved with the cartel

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After the brutal murders of his sons, many suspected that Sebastian and his family had ties with the drug cartel. His brother, Federico Figueroa, was also accused of working for druglords. "I'm not involved with the cartel. I have no enemies," Sebastian expressed to El Universal


His battle with cancer 7

His battle with cancer

Image via Univision Música

Sebastian was first diagnosed with cancer in 1999. He fought for his health and survived, but the cancer made a comeback in 2007. Five years later, he was no longer in remission and was diagnosed with cancer for a third time. He fought until the very end and loss his battle on July 13th.  

He had a crush on Kate del Castillo 8

He had a crush on Kate del Castillo

Image via Kate del Castillo/Instagram

Sebastian may have had five different partners throughout his life, including star Maribel Guardia, but the one woman he admired the most was Kate del Castillo. In 2012, the singer confessed that the telenovela actress was his muse and he was crushing on her for years. He was 21 years her senior!


He collaborated with Will.I.Am 9

He collaborated with Will.I.Am

Image via YouTube

The Black Eyed Peas mastermind paid Sebastian a visit in Mexico's capital for their collaboration, "Hey You." The club song was a change for Sebastian, but he added his signature touch. 

He had a strong love for horses 10

He had a strong love for horses

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Sebastian had great pride in being an equestrian. His favorite horse named Padrino, passed away a few weeks before Sebastian's death. 


He was prideful of his country 11

He was prideful of his country

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His first hit in 1981 titled "Juliantla" was dedicated to his hometown of Juliantla, Guerrero. "The only place they understand my English is in Mexico," he once joked in an interview.