One of Spain's leading flamenco singers, Enrique Morente, died on Monday at a Madrid hospital where he had been in coma following an operation for an ulcer on December 6, after several days of a tough struggle against death, though the reason for his death is unclear, because while the family has said it intends to submit a complaint in court for medical malpractice, doctors defend themselves by saying that he had a cancer of the esophagus with metastasis. Whatever the cause, he is dead now and he was 67 and an unique performer and a wonderful person, according to people who knew him .
If Camarón de la Isla is credited with popularizing flamenco, Morente was known as the genre's great innovator. He went on to blend flamenco with many other genres.
Criticised by some of his peers for having played with musicians from other musical styles, his admirers hail his constant efforts to modernise the centuries-old musical style that has come to represent Spain.
Born December 25, 1942 in the gypsy quarter of Granada in southern Spain (in Albaicin), he learned flamenco from his family and other performers in the city before moving to Madrid at the age of 18 to start his career as a professional singer.
He released 20 albums over a career spanning four decades. The first, "Cante Flamenco", was released in 1967. And recently Morente had been working on a new album titled "El barbero de Picasso", or "Picasso's Barber", a tribute to the great Spanish painter born in Malaga.
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He often repeated that flamenco required a flawless technique and he adopted flamenco works by Spanish poets such as Federico Garcia Lorca and Antonio Machado.
Morente was the first flamenco artist to receive the culture ministry's National Music Award, in 1994.
He was married to a dancer Aurora Carbonell and has three daughters, one of them the popular flamenco singer Estrella Morente who was chosen by Oscar-winning Spanish director Pedro Almodovar to interpret the main theme of his 2006 film "Volver".
He used to tell that he was a flamenco singer because his mother gave birth to him while looking at Candle Tower in Alhambra Palace.
Granada is not an easy mother town for its best children, but this time was different with Enrique Llorente and on Sunday night, when he died, the whole city fell silent and bells stopped ringing at Albaycin churches, meanwhile the Alhambra burst into crying……
After seeing the overwhelming response received by people, Enrique Morente's family has set up a website where people can express their condolences, it is http://www.familiamorente.com/.
Sources: El Mundo/El Pais/Yahoo