World-renowned merengue music legend Johnny Ventura died on Wednesday, July 28 at the age of 81.
According to sources, “El Caballo Mayor” fainted during a private medical appointment that he carried out in the city of Santiago, Dominican Republic.
The artist died in the Unión Médica de Santiago clinic of a heart attack.
The Dominican merengue singer remained one of the most popular merengue singers and performers since Born in La Vega, Dominican Republic, Ventura kicked started his career in the early ‘60s and was coined as “El Caballo Negro.” Some of his biggest titles include tropical hits such as “Patacon Pisao,” “¿Pitaste?”and “Merenguero Hasta la Tambora,” all of which have become staples in countless Latino households throughout Latin America.
He innovated with his lyrics and his catchy rhythm accompanied by his group El Combo-Show. It was a different sound for the time, but it enjoyed the acceptance of a large fan base that began to follow. His “combo-show” this name referring to combo as a limited amount of people and show because of the visual spectacle and the movements that they made when they were on stage.
Ventura modernized the merengue rhythm by introducing saxophones, trumpets, piano, drums, electronic effects, timpani, and incorporating elements from other rhythms without losing its essence
Ventura also served as vice mayor of Santo Domingo and as mayor from 1998 to 2002.