Joan Sebastian

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Joan Sebastian
Joan Sebastian Pepsi Center.jpg
Joan Sebastian at Pepsi Center on August 22, 2009
Background information
Birth nameJosé Manuel Figueroa Figueroa [1]
Born(1951-04-08)April 8, 1951
Juliantla, Guerrero, Mexico
DiedJuly 13, 2015(2015-07-13) (aged 64)
Teacalco, Guerrero, Mexico
Genres Regional Mexican, Latin pop [2]
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, composer, actor, producer
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active1975–2015
Labels Musart, Fonovisa, Universal Music Latin Entertainment

José Manuel Figueroa Figueroa [1] [3] (April 8, 1951 – July 13, 2015), better known as Joan Sebastian (pronounced  [xoˈan seβasˈtjan] ), was a Mexican singer-songwriter. [4] [5] He wrote more than 1,000 songs including compositions for Vicente Fernández, Lucero, Pepe Aguilar, and Rocío Dúrcal. [6] His music is a mixture of Latin pop, ranchera and grupera music. Sebastian was awarded seven Latin Grammy Awards and five Grammy Awards, making him the most awarded Mexican performer in Grammy history. [7]

Vicente Fernández Mexican actor and singer

Vicente "Chente" Fernández Gómez is a Mexican retired singer, actor, and film producer. Nicknamed "El Rey de la Música Ranchera", Fernández started his career singing for tips on the street, and has since become a cultural icon, recording more than 50 albums and contributing to more than 30 films. His repertoire consists of rancheras and other Mexican classics. He is accompanied live by a mariachi group, but he is not technically a mariachi musician, as he only sings live. Vicente's fame rose after the death of Javier Solís.

Lucero (entertainer) Mexican singer and actress

Lucero Hogaza León, known as Lucero, is a Mexican singer, songwriter, actress, and television host. She is a multi-platinum singer in Mexico, and has sung in Spanish, English and Portuguese. She is the daughter of Lucero León and Antonio Hogaza and has one brother, Antonio. Lucero has sold more than 27 million records worldwide and is recognized in Latin America and Mexico as "La Novia de America".

Pepe Aguilar American musician

José Antonio Aguilar Jiménez, better known as Pepe Aguilar, is a Mexican-American singer-songwriter and actor.


Sebastian also worked sporadically as an actor. In 1996, he made his acting debut in the Mexican soap opera Tú y Yo (You and I), sharing credits with Maribel Guardia, his former wife and mother to his son, Julian. In 2015, Sebastian died at the age of 64 of bone cancer. At the time of his death, Sebastian had two number-one albums on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart and seven top ten songs on the Hot Latin Songs chart in the United States. [8]

Telenovela television genre

A telenovela is a type of limited-run television serial drama or soap opera produced primarily in Latin America. The word combines tele, short for televisión or televisão, and novela, a Spanish and Portuguese word for "novel". Similar genres around the world include teleserye (Philippines), téléroman, or simply dramas. In Spain, they are also called culebrones because of the convoluted plots.

Maribel Guardia Costa Rican model

Maribel Guardia is a Costa Rican and Mexican actress, model, singer and TV hostess. She was winner of Miss Costa Rica 1978 and contestant in Miss Universe 1978.

The Billboard Hot Latin Songs is a record chart in the United States for Latin songs, published weekly by Billboard magazine. Since October 2012, chart rankings are based on digital sales, radio airplay, and online streaming, and only predominantly Spanish-language songs are allowed to rank. The chart was established by the magazine on September 6, 1986 and was originally based on airplay on Latin music radio stations. Songs on the chart were not necessarily in Spanish language, since a few songs in English and Portuguese language have also charted.

Early life

Joan Sebastian was born in the rural town of Juliantla in Guerrero, and began composing at the age of seven. [9] His mother enrolled him in a school near Guanajuato when he was eight years old, and returned to his hometown three years later. [10]

Juliantla Town in Guerrero, Mexico

Juliantla is a town of Taxco de Alarcón Municipality, in the state of Guerrero, south-western Mexico, made famous by native star Joan Sebastian who made a 70's spanish pop rock song after his hometown.

Guerrero State of Mexico

Guerrero, officially the Free and Sovereign State of Guerrero, is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 81 municipalities and its capital city is Chilpancingo and its largest city is Acapulco.

Guanajuato State of Mexico

Guanajuato, officially the Free and Sovereign State of Guanajuato, is one of the 31 states which, with Mexico City, are the 32 federal entities of Mexico. It is divided into 46 municipalities and its capital city is Guanajuato. The largest city in the state is León.

At age fourteen, his father sent him away to a monastery in Morelos where he was under the care of Father David Salgado. Due to the clergyman's influence on Sebastian, he considered becoming a priest. He enrolled in the Seminario Conciliar de San José in Cuernavaca, Morelos, but realized that he wanted to pursue a music career, and decided to leave the seminary to dedicate himself to music. [10]

Morelos State of Mexico

Morelos, officially the Free and Sovereign State of Morelos, is one of the 32 states, which comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 36 municipalities and its capital city is Cuernavaca.


Before embarking on a singing career, Sebastian was an administrative assistant at a vacation resort in Oaxtepec, Morelos, where he would sing through the intercom. In 1968, Sebastian met Mexican actress Angelica Maria. They stayed together and she asked him to sing some songs for her. [9] She suggested to Sebastian that he record the songs and give them to music producer Eduardo Magallanes, though Sebastian never managed to contact him. [11] He later moved to Mexico City and began asking Discos Capitals Records to listen to his music and produce it. [12] In 1974, he recorded his first album, Pedro Parrandas, and received positive feedback from the public. [9]

Mexico City Capital City in Mexico, Mexico

Mexico City, or the City of Mexico, is the capital of Mexico and the most populous city in North America. It is one of the most important cultural and financial centres in the Americas. It is located in the Valley of Mexico, a large valley in the high plateaus in the center of Mexico, at an altitude of 2,240 meters (7,350 ft). The city has 16 boroughs.

In 1977, Sebastian decided to stop using his legal name, Jose Manuel Figueroa and took on his artistic name, Joan Sebastian, partly in tribute to San Sebastian, where he previously worked. [10] That same year, he signed a record deal with the label Musart. Later on he would make his known hit "Juliantla" and the famous duet Maracas with Alberto Vazquéz. In 2000, he released Secreto de Amor which was certified 4× platinum in the Latin field in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). [13] The album and title track won the Lo Nuestro Awards for Regional Mexican Album of the Year and Regional Mexican Song of the Year; he also received the Excellence Award for his musical contributions. [14]

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Recording Industry Association of America Trade organization representing the recording industry in the U.S.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is a trade organization that represents the recording industry in the United States. Its members consist of record labels and distributors, which the RIAA says "create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 85% of all legally sold recorded music in the United States." The RIAA headquarters is in Washington, D.C.

The 13th Lo Nuestro Awards ceremony, presented by Univision honoring the best Latin music of 2000 and 2001 took place on February 8, 2001, at a live presentation held at the James L. Knight Center in Miami, Florida. The ceremony was broadcast in the United States and Latin America by Univision.

In 2006, Sebastian was inducted into the Billboard Latin Music Hall of Fame for his prolific songwriting and musical arrangements. [15] Sebastian was awarded Songwriter of the Year three times by ASCAP and received the Golden Note Award in 2007 in recognition of his songwriting career. [16]

In 2012, Joan Sebastian teamed up with American songwriter and producer for the song and video "Hey You." [17]

Personal life

Sebastian had eight children from five different women. Their names are José Manuel Figueroa (who is also a singer and composer), Juan Sebastián Figueroa Gonzalez, Trigo de Jesús Figueroa Gonzalez (first three children with Teresa Gonzalez, his first wife), Zarelea Figueroa Ocampo (who is also a singer and composer), Marcos Julián Figueroa Fernández (son of Maribel Guardia, who's a singer and has a son with Imelda Tuñon), Joana Marcelia Figueroa Espín, Juliana Joeri Figueroa Alonso and D'Yave Figueroa Espín. His third oldest son, Trigo was shot in the back of the head after one of Joan Sebastian's concerts in Mission, Texas on August 27, 2006. Trigo had been trying to control the crowd after the show. He was transported to McAllen Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. [18] [19]

On June 12, 2010, his second oldest son, Juan Sebastián was shot dead in Cuernavaca, Morelos, after arriving at a night club with some friends and being refused entrance. [20] Joan Sebastian said his son's death had nothing to do with the Mexican drug cartels. [21]

A few months after his death Televisa announced that a series about his life would begin filming. His son, Julian Figueroa, portrayed his father in his younger days while his older son, José Manuel Figueroa, will portray his father in present day. Livia Brito was also confirmed to portray Maribel Guardia. The series Por Siempre Joan Sebastian premiered on June 27, 2016 on Univision and concluded on July 25, 2016.

On January 27, 2019, a nephew of Sebastian, Hugo Figueroa, was kidnapped before the start of a bull riding event in Tarímbaro, Michoacán. On January 31, he was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds, at kilometer 294 of the Mexico-Guadalajara highway. This marked the third violent death in the famous Mexican family. A video allegedly depicting his murder has circulated online. Figueroa was buried not far from his uncle’s grave.

Illness and death

Sebastian was first diagnosed with bone cancer in 1999. He underwent cancer treatment and survived; however, he announced that the cancer had returned in 2007. Undergoing cancer treatment once again, he later announced he was in remission. On July 26, 2012, during one of his concerts, he announced that the cancer had returned for the third time. In 2014, he revealed that he was battling cancer for the fourth time during his performances in Zacatecas.

Weeks prior to his death, he confirmed to the media that he had been hospitalized and undergoing cancer treatment under medical supervision. On July 13, 2015, Joan Sebastian died at 7:15pm (UTC-06:00) at his ranch Cruz de la Sierra, Teacalco Guerrero, Mexico, due to bone cancer. He was 64 years old. [8] [22] [23] His body was buried in a cemetery in Juliantla near his son Trigo. [24]


Sebastian recorded the following studio albums during his music career: [25] [26] [27]

Studio albums

  • Mi Mujer (1975)
  • Y Las Mariposas (1977)
  • Rumores (1985)
  • Oiga (1987)
  • Mascarada (1988)
  • Norteño] (1989)
  • Bandido De Amores (1995)
  • Norteño Vol. 2 (1995)
  • En Vivo En La Mexico (1995)
  • El Peor De Tus Antojos (1995)
  • Con Mariachi (1996)
  • Tu Y Yo (1997)
  • ‘’ Rumores ‘’ (1997)
  • Gracias Por Tanto Amor (1998)
  • Rey Del Jaripeo (1999)
  • Nostalgia Y Recuerdos (2000)
  • Secreto De Amor (2001)
  • Cariño Como Tu (2001)
  • Con Mariachi Vargas De Tecalitlan (2002)
  • Afortunado (2002)
  • Lo Dijo el Corazón (2002)
  • Mujeres Bonitas (2003)
  • Que Amarren a Cupido (2004)
  • Inventario (2005)
  • Canta Para Ti (2006)
  • De Relajo y Pa Bailar (2006)
  • Mas Alla Del Sol (2006)
  • No Es De Madera (2008)
  • Pegadito al Corazón (2009)
  • Joan Sebastian En Vivo (2009)
  • Huevos Rancheros (2011)
  • Un Lujo (2012)
  • 13 Celebrando El 13 (2013)
  • Corridos Con Banda (2013)
  • Celedon Sin Fronteras 2 (2014)
  • El Ultimo Jaripeo (2017)

Awards and nominations

2002 Grammy Award Best Mexican/Mexican-American Album Lo Dijo El CorazónWon [28]
Latin Grammy Award Best Grupero Album Won [29]
2003Grammy AwardBest Mexican/Mexican-American Album Afortunado Won [28]
Latin Grammy Award Best Regional Mexican Song "Afortunado"Won [29]
Best Banda Album AfortunadoWon [29]
2006Grammy Award Best Banda Album Más Allá Del SolWon [28]
Latin Grammy AwardBest Banda AlbumWon [29]
Best Grupero AlbumEn El Auditorio NacionalWon [29]
2008Grammy AwardBest Banda AlbumNo Es De MaderaWon [28]
Latin Grammy AwardBest Regional Mexican Song"Estos Celos"Won [29]

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  1. 1 2 "Biografía Jose Manuel Figueroa Figueroa Joan Sebastian QEPD". (in Spanish). Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  2. "Joan Sebastian - Biografia". BuenaMusica (in Spanish). Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  3. Edmundo Perez Que me entierren con narcocorridos 2012 "... de Marco Enrique Yépez Uribe, el Jarocho o el Comandante Alex, principal testigo de la PGR, era un rancho situado en Juliantla, Guerrero, propiedad del cantante José Manuel Figueroa, conocido artísticamente como Joan Sebastian.
  4. "Muere el cantante Joan Sebastian". Televisa (in Spanish). 13 July 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  5. Joan Sebastian dies at age 64,; accessed 15 July 2015.
  6. "Muere Joan Sebastian, el cantautor mexicano". El Mundo (in Spanish). Unidad Editorial. 14 July 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  7. "Caballo le rompe cuatro costillas a Joan Sebastian". El Universal (in Spanish). 5 May 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  8. 1 2 Cobo, Leila (13 July 2015). "Joan Sebastian, Mexican Music Superstar, Dies at 64". Billboard . Prometheus Global Media . Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  9. 1 2 3 Pyror, Tom (30 April 2004). "Joan Sebastian: The People's Poet". ASCAP . Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  10. 1 2 3 Bonacich, Drago. "Joan Sebastían Biography". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation . Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  11. "Joan Sebastian y su camino al éxito". La Opinión (in Spanish). 13 July 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  12. "State Farm Arena Welcomes Los Tigres del Norte and Joan Sebastian". Best Hotels in McAllen. 21 August 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  13. "American certifications – "Sebastian, Joan"". Recording Industry Association of America . Retrieved 14 July 2015.If necessary, click Advanced, then click Type, then select Latin, then click SEARCH. 
  14. "Arrasa Son by Four con premios Lo Nuestro". El Universal (in Spanish). 10 February 2001. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  15. Cobo, Leila (29 April 2006). "Hall of Fame Inductee Joan Sebastian Inspires Others". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. 118 (17): 6. ISSN   0006-2510 . Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  16. "15th Annual Latin Music Awards - Joan Sebastian". ASCAP. 21 April 2007. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  18. Carmen Burgueño Encontrando El Camino de Luz y Verdad 2007 - Page 251 "Por si no lo conoces, Joan Sebastián es un cantante Mexicano. En un recital que hizo el cantante en Texas, aparentemente su hijo trataba de frenar a los fanáticos de su padre que intentaban invadir el escenario. Uno de los fanáticos sacó un ..."
  19. Francisco Pérez Abellán Crimen y criminales II. Claves para entender el mundo del crimen 2010, p. 73; "No es un fenómeno nuevo: en los últimos dos años, varios cantantes han sido asesinados. En 1992, Chalina Sánchez, al que se le supone creador del narcocorrido, fue suprimido. Hace unos años, Trigo Figueroa, hijo de Joan Sebastián, fue .."
  20. Asesinan a hijo de Joan Sebastian,; accessed 15 July 2015.
  21. Farrell, Paul (July 13, 2015). "Joan Sebastian Dead: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". . Retrieved July 16, 2015.
  22. Tinoco, Armando (13 July 2015). "Joan Sebastian Dies: 'El Rey Del Jaripeo' Dead At 64, Loses Battle With Cancer". Latin Times. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  23. "Mexican ballad singer Joan Sebastian dies at age 64". Denver Post. 13 July 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  24. Rubiano, Andrés (18 July 2015). "Joan Sebastian fue sepultado en su pueblo natal, Juliantla (Fotos)". People en Español (in Spanish). Time Inc. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  25. "Un recorrido por la discografía completa del fallecido cantante mexicano, Joan Sebastian" (in Spanish). Telemundo. July 16, 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
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  27. "Discografia". Joan Sebastian Pagina Oficial (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 26 November 2013. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  28. 1 2 3 4 "Grammy Past Winners Search "Joan Sebastian"". The Grammys. The Recording Academy. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  29. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Latin Grammy Past Winners Search "Joan Sebastian"". The Latin Grammys (in Spanish). The Latin Recording Academy. Retrieved 9 February 2015.