Rigo Tovar Dies

Rigo Tovar, the singer credited with fueling Mexico’s fascination with cumbia and “grupero” tropical music, died of a heart attack in Mexico City March 27th.

Tovar, 58, popularized a more modern type of tropical rhythms, adding electronic keyboards and electric guitars to the traditional acoustic sections. In the 1970s, he gained success with his group Costa Azul and later pursued a solo career.

He took a hiatus during the ’80s because of illness but re-emerged in 1989 with a pair of albums for the BMG/U.S. Latin label.

Tovar released his latest album on Fonovisa in December.