Thousands of tearful fans said a final goodbye in Mexico City Wednesday to superstar singer Jose Jose, whose death last month triggered national mourning and a family feud worthy of a telenovela.
The government said 15,000 people thronged the Palace of Fine Arts in the heart of the Mexican capital to file past a gold-plated coffin and cry for “The Prince of Song,” whose velvety voice and ballads of heartbreak made him one of the most successful Latin American singers of all time.
A Mexican air force plane flew Jose Jose’s ashes — half of them, anyway — to his native Mexico City from Miami, where the musician died of complications from pancreatic cancer on September 28 at age 71.
The other half remained in Florida, under a grudging deal negotiated between his eldest children, Jose Joel and Marysol, and their half-sister, Sarita, who lived in Miami with her father and initially resisted plans to bring his body back to Mexico.
In the days after their father’s death, Jose Joel and Marysol accused Sarita of hiding his body, seeking to get rich off his death and “putting on make-up” amid the family’s mourning.
They went as far as to file a police report, hire a lawyer and insist on an autopsy, before the Mexican consulate in Miami and President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador himself intervened to mediate.