Diomedes Diaz, leading performer of Colombia's accordion-heavy vallenato music, dies at age 56 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Diomedes Diaz, leading performer of Colombia's accordion-heavy vallenato music, dies at age 56

FILE - In this Friday, May 15, 2009, file photo, singer and composer Diomedes Diaz waves after singing in Colombia's northern state of Cesar. Diaz, the best-known performer of Colombia's accordion-heavy vallenato music, died Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013, at age 56. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan, File)
December 23, 2013 - 8:07 AM

BOGOTA - Colombians are mourning the death of musician Diomedes Diaz, the best-known performer of the country's accordion-heavy vallenato music.

Fredys Soccaras, mayor of Valledupar, the singer-songwriter's hometown, told Caracol radio that Diaz died Sunday of a heart attack after being rushed to a hospital. He was 56.

From a poor childhood on a farm near Colombia's Caribbean coast, Diaz rose to become one of the top-selling artists of the musical genre revered in Colombia. He was honoured with a Latin Grammy for best vallenato album in 2010.

Diaz was also known for his off-stage excesses, including a lifelong battle with drugs and alcohol and a conviction for trying to cover up the overdose death of a fan at his home.

His death came three days after he released a new CD.

News from © The Associated Press, 2013
The Associated Press

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