Hector Lavoe has a mythical status in Latin music. The undisputed king of salsa singers, ‘El Cantante de los cantantes’, was blessed with an extraordinary talent as a ‘sonero’ – his vocal improvisations were the stuff of legend. Leaving Puerto Rico for New York at 17 his break came when he joined forces with Willie Colon and in 1967 released El Malo on Fania Records. It was an instant hit and the first of many in his hugely successful career. Singing about life in the barrio, his connection with his public was such that generations of Latin music fans still consider his song Mi Gente (My People) to be the iconic anthem of Latin identity. A flamboyant and expressive artist, his personal life was turbulent, drug addiction raged and when he died of AIDS in 1993 aged just 43, a revered giant of Latin music was mourned worldwide.