Ray Reyes, a former member of the boy band Menudo, has died at the age of 51.
According to reports from Telemundo, the singer suffered a massive heart attack, leading to his death on April 30. Ray’s brother, Raul Reyes, confirmed the news on Facebook on Friday, asking fans for privacy on behalf of the family.
“It is with great pain in my soul that I confirm the death of my beloved brother, Ray Reyes,” he wrote in Spanish alongside a set of photos from Ray’s life. “I beg you all for space as we navigate this situation and ask that you please pray for our family, especially my mother who is very delicate. I also ask that you never forget his legacy.”
He continued, “Now more than ever, we need to be united. Never stop expressing your love and affection for your fellow human beings.”
Ray Reyes was born in New York City in 1970. Soon thereafter, he moved to Levittown, Puerto Rico, the same city he lived in as an adult and where he died.
The singer joined boy band Menudo in early 1983, shortly before the addition of Ricky Martin and Draco Rosa (then known as Robby Rosa). Just two years later, in 1985, he reportedly left the group due to a growth spurt, when he was replaced by Raymond Acevedo.
More than a decade later, in 1998, Reyes reunited with other former Menudo members to celebrate the group’s 15th anniversary. They came together once again in 2005 as El Reencuentro as part of a farewell tour that continued to perform until their eventual split a decade later. Reyes hit the stage as part of Menudo in 2016 and again in 2019.
In one of his final interviews before his death, Reyes spoke to Telemundo about just how difficult it was to escape the shadow of his boy band past--no matter how hard he tried later on in life.
“Throughout the years, I’ve tried to reinvent myself, but no matter what I tried, the topic of Menudo always came up,” he told the outlet in Spanish. “I’ve tried to take on other professions, but all anyone wants to know about is Menudo. I don’t mind because I’m very proud of all we accomplished, but reinventing myself after all of that was very difficult.”
Ray Reyes is survived by his two children, Marcos and Cecilia.