Pablo Milanés, the most romantic of all troubadours, has died in Madrid at the age of 79, according to Cuban media reports. The singer-songwriter from Bayamo has been in our country since 2017 to receive cancer treatment in Cuba that was “nonexistent”, which forced him to settle in the Spanish capital.
“It is with great pain and sadness that we unfortunately have to announce that the teacher Pablo Milanés passed away in Madrid this morning of November 22nd. We deeply appreciate all the love and support he is showing his family and friends during these difficult times. It will stay in our memories forever.”carries a statement published on the artist’s social networks.
A Cuban revolutionary and Cuban critic, Milanés was the founder of Nueva Trova, a musical movement born after the advent of the Castro Revolution and rooted in the country’s ancient trova with the political spice of the new era in the pearl of the Caribbean . His eternally short-sighted glasses never stopped looking at his country with affection, from which he never left, despite his last socialist misgivings.
La Nueva Trova was a new musical current spearheaded by Silvio Rodríguez, Noel Nicola and Milanés himself who managed to gain a foothold on the island’s competing music map. “We earned a position and a way of doing things by incorporating into our songs everything that we had to live politically, historically and culturally as a generation,” he said in a 2005 interview with ABC.
However, one day this turned into bitter love. Milanés, who became a deputy in the Cuban National Assembly, refused to go any further in politics and complicated his position: “Of course My political view of things is not the same today as it was in the 1960s. Then the analyzes were simpler, perhaps more sentimental. Those were very good times,” he explained to us at the beginning of the millennium.
And although he claimed not to be an “addict” to the Cuban regime (“there are always things to qualify, there is always room for criticism or apologies”), Milanés seemed clear at the time: “Basically, I still consider myself to be me a revolutionary; history has changed, but I haven’t.
But his relationship with Rodríguez has been tarnished due to conflicts ranging from the Castro regime’s treatment of the White Ladies in 2011 to cross-criticism. It was then that the author of “Ojalá” recalled that he and Milanés had neither seen nor spoken for 20 years by telephone. “The Pablo I know is almost a quarter of a century late,” he said.
First with an Afro hairstyle and then without a hairstyle, the composer began music with “Mis 22 años” in the 1960s and has historically become an appropriate and indispensable name in the music sung in Spanish of the last six decades with more than 40 albums on the market.
“In his long and brilliant career he has won two Grammy Latino (2006) and one Statuette for musical excellence (2015) and has worked with numerous giants on both sides of the Atlantic, including Luis Eduardo Aute, Mercedes Sosa, Chico Buarque, Víctor Manuel, Ana Belén, Chucho Valdés, Fito Páez, Joaquín Sabina and Joan Manuel Serrat.
Five women, five songs
Some of his biggest hits have been “El breve espacio” in which you are not, “Ámame como soy” or his great universal classic “Yolanda”, the song with the most plays of the musician on Spotify, more than 20 million in which he sang these indelible verses so heartily to his second wife: “I love you, I love you (forever I love you).”
Pablito Milanés, as he was called in his beloved Cuba, really sang love songs for his five loves, for his five wives. With every new loving name in her life, a song. Composed or dedicated. So he sang “Olga” for Olga; he wrote “Yolanda” to Yolanda, but before that he had dedicated “Yo no te pido” to her; he dedicated one to Zoe, whom he called “Love” and another, which he called “Beginning and end of a green morning”; to Sandra, one who called “Sandra”; and Nancy Pérez, as she is Galician from Mazaricos (La Coruña), one called “The long way to Santiago” and also “Regalo”, or, on her last tour in the same year 2022, “If you’re not there “.
Thus, Milanés chose the “filin” in his artistic development, leaving the revolution and politics, all settled in genres and sounds ranging from traditional to modern, including jazz, rumba, bolero or son. . «Talking about politics poisons any conversation about art. I no longer talk about politics or with friends,” he told Clarín in 2019 in a public de-ideologization process that had already been completed.
After being hospitalized three months ago, Milanés was forced to do so cancel the concerts planned for the coming weeksincluding one in Pamplona, as well as in Mexico City or Santo Domingo.