Cuban singer-songwriter Pablo Milanés passed away on Monday night, November 21, at the age of 79.
Milanés was hospitalized in Madrid for more than a week.
Along with other prominent musicians such as Silvio Rodríguez and Noel Nicola, Milanés is considered the creator and architect of the so-called Nueva Trova.
The wake will be held on Wednesday at the Cervantes hall of the Casa de America in Madrid, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday.
Milanés, composer of the mythical song Yolanda and author of multiple albums throughout his musical career, also received the National Music Award of Cuba and the Latin Grammy for Musical Excellence, among many other awards.
Last year’s tour, Días de luz, gave the legendary singer-songwriter the opportunity to perform again and meet his fans.
Due to a worsening of his health, which had been failing for decades, the dates of the concerts scheduled in Pamplona, Mexico City and Santo Domingo were postponed.
Pablo had moved to Spain many years ago to receive therapy for his oncohematological disease.
Last concert in Havana
His last concert in Cuba was in Havana in June.
What happened was quite remarkable and surrounded by controversy. Tickets for the concert initially scheduled at the National Theater sold out in record time, prompting the organizers to move the show to the larger and much larger Sports City Coliseum.
A wheelchair-bound Milanés then made his way to the stage, an image that many Cubans considered an omen, an obvious sign that his health was even more broken.
Five months after his daughter Suylén died suddenly in January 2022 from a stroke, Pablo was able to reunite with his family in Havana.
Since 2014, Milanés and his wife and manager, Galician historian Nancy Pérez, with whom he shares two children, have made their home in the Spanish city of Vigo.
Milanés was one of the most outspoken critics of the Cuban government in recent decades.
However, he was one of the founders and leading exponents of the politically charged musical movement known as Nueva Trova, along with Silvio Rodrguez and the late Noel Nicola.
In the early 1990s, during a severe economic crisis, he began his opposition: “I had the conviction that the Cuban system had definitely failed and I denounced it,” he confessed after the protests of July 11 and 12, 2021.
Pablo Milanés’ illness and health
Milanés had chronic necrosis in the head of the femur, a hernia and kidney failure, the latter of which required a kidney donation from his wife, in 2014.
The Cuban singer-songwriter underwent a total of 29 surgeries.
He also suffered from Dupuytrén’s disease, which gradually rendered his hand useless and prevented him from playing the guitar for a long time.
His immune system was compromised by the cancer so, in 2017, he moved to Spain to receive the appropriate treatment.