Hector Lavoe was once King of the Salsa world and still is one of the most iconic figures to have been born out of Puerto Rico. Lavoe was a great performer and had a slick and swift voice that stayed with you because the sound pierced through your soul.
When Mr. Lavoe arrived in New York City he was 17 years old, He was met by his sister Priscilla upon arrival in New York. The first thing he did in New York was visit El Barrio, New York's "Spanish Harlem" Héctor was disappointed in the condition of El Barrio which contrasted with his vision of "fancy Cadillacs, tall marble skyscrapers and tree-lined streets. Hector stayed at his sister's apartment in The Bronx, instead. On his first week living in the city, he worked as the vocalist of a sextet formed by Roberto García. During this period, he performed with several other groups, including Orquesta New York, Kako All-Stars, and the Johnny Pacheco band. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Héctor_Lavoe)
In 1967, Lavoe joined Willie Colon band and performed as the band vocalist. With the Willie Colón band, Lavoe recorded several hit songs, including "El Malo" and "Canto a Borinquen". Lavoe moved on to become a soloist and formed his own band, where he performed as lead vocalist. As a soloist Lavoe recorded several hits including "El cantante", "Bandolera" and "Periódico de ayer". During this period he was frequently featured as an invited vocalist in the Fania Allstars and recorded numerous tracks with the band. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Héctor_Lavoe)
The design we created to display our tribute was inspired by his record "Comedia", the third solo album by Héctor Lavoe, It was released on 1978 under the label of Fania Records. In the album cover deign of “Comedia” you can see Mr. Lavoe dressed as the late actor Charlie Chaplin and in the album he is featuring one of his greatest hit. The album is famous for the song "El Cantante", which was written by Rubén Blades. Mr. Blades was convinced by Willie Colon to let Hector Lavoe record it and make it his own. "El Cantante" is among one of his greatest hits and is considered the poster song of his career.
Like many other legends that flourished during the drug epidemic of the 60s, 70s, and 80s, Mr. Lavoe hit rock bottom. While enjoying his newly found success, Héctor became severely addicted to narcotics, namely heroin, and prescription drugs. His addiction resulted in him showing up late for gigs, and he eventually did not show up to some scheduled performances at all. Following his rehabilitation, Lavoe's life was plagued by tragic events, emotional turmoil, and pain. Both his mother-in-law and father died, and his seventeen year old son Héctor, Jr. was accidentally shot by a friend. Also, Lavoe was diagnosed with HIV, the virus that can progress to AIDS. These events would push him to the limit. Héctor died on June 29, 1993, at a hospital in New York City. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Héctor_Lavoe)
Hector Lavoe will always be Salsa royalty and his music will forever live.