Johnny Pacheco (El Maestro), the co-founder of trailblazing salsa label Fania Records and salsa icon, died at 85. He was Eddie Palmieri’s bandmate. In addition, Pacheco was backer of salsa superstars such as Rubén Bladas, Willie Colón, Héctor Lavoe, La Lupe and Celia Cruz.
Marc Anthony, one of the most influential artists of this generation and a salsa icon, laments the loss of Pacheco. “Maestro de Maestros y mi buen amigo! Descansa en paz! You were there for me from day 1. Your sense of humor was contagious and I am forever grateful for your support, for the opportunity to be in your presence and for your amazing legacy.”, the singer commented on his Instagram.
A representative for Fania said Pacheco was “the man most responsible for the genre of salsa music. He was a visionary and his music will live on eternally.”
It is with profound sadness we share the news of the passing of Johnny Pacheco. He was one of Fania’s founders and the man most responsible for the genre of Salsa music. He was a visionary and his music will live on eternally. 🕊 https://t.co/zpGg9B2znV— FANIA RECORDS (@Faniamusic) February 15, 2021
Pacheco is survived by his wife and four children.