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Armando Manzanero
Manzanero in 2016
Manzanero in 2016
Background information
Birth nameArmando Manzanero Canché
Born(1935-12-07)7 December 1935
Ticul, Yucatán, Mexico
Died28 December 2020(2020-12-28) (aged 85)
Mexico City, Mexico
  • Composer
  • pianist
  • singer
  • Piano
  • voice
Years active1950–2020
LabelsRCA Victor

Armando Manzanero Canché (7 December 1935 – 28 December 2020) was a Mexican Mayan musician, singer, composer, actor and music producer, widely considered the premier Mexican romantic composer of the postwar era and one of the most successful composers of Latin America.[1] He received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in the United States in 2014. He was the president of the Mexican Society of Authors and Composers (Sociedad de Autores y Compositores de México).[2]

Early life

Manzanero was born in Ticul, Yucatán on 7 December 1935.[3] His father was singer and composer Santiago Manzanero and his mother Juanita Canché Baqueiro played the jarana jarocha.[4] At the age of eight he was introduced to the world of music at the Escuela de Bellas Artes (School of Fine Arts) of his native city, later furthering his musical studies in Mexico City.[citation needed]


In 1950, at the age of fifteen, he composed his first melody titled Nunca en el Mundo (Never in the World), of which twenty-one versions in different languages have been recorded to date.[5] The following year he began his professional career as a pianist.

In 1957 he was signed as musical director by the Mexican branch of CBS International and as Musical Promoter for EMI,[6] becoming the next year the pianist of Latin American artists such as Pedro Vargas, Lucho Gatica and Raphael.[5]

In 1959, an executive of RCA Victor urged him to record his first album of love songs, which he named Mi Primera Grabación (My First Record).[6]

In 1965 he won first place at the Festival de la Canción (Song Festival) in Miami with the song Cuando Estoy Contigo (When I'm With You).[7]

In 1970, his song "Somos Novios" was reissued with new lyrics by Sid Wayne, composer for Elvis Presley. The English version, "It's Impossible", was performed by Perry Como and was nominated for a Grammy.

Armando Manzanero in 2010
Armando Manzanero in 2010

In 1978 he won first place at the Mallorca Festival in Spain, with the song Señor Amor (Mister Love). In 1982, the song Corazón Amigo (Heart Friend), was honored at the Yamaha Festival. In 1993 Billboard magazine gave him an award for his excellent musical career.[8]

In 2011, Manzanero became President of and one of the main directors of the Asociación Nacional de Autores y Compositores (Mexican National Association of Authors and Composers). He also served as Vice President of the association from 1982 through 2011. His work in defense of copyright laws has strengthened this organization and has given it international acclaim.[9]

Manzanero in 2010
Manzanero in 2010

His work has been performed by singers such as Tito Rodriguez, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Shirley Bassey, Andrea Bocelli, Raquel Bitton, Tony Bennett, Laura Pausini, Alejandro Fernández, Perry Como, Luis Miguel, Franck Pourcel, Paul Mauriat, Ray Conniff, María Martha Serra Lima, Mina, Claudio Nicoletti, Raphael, Roberto Carlos, Christina Aguilera, Dionne Warwick, Manoella Torres, Marco Antonio Muñiz, Angelica Maria, José José, Tania Libertad, Lucero, Cristian Castro, and Il Divo, Carmen París, as well as with pianist Raúl di Blasio and others.

Manzanero composed more than four hundred songs, fifty of which have given him international fame[clarification needed]. He participated in numerous radio and television shows, recorded more than thirty albums, and composed the musical scores of several[vague] movies. During the fifty years of his musical career, Manzanero gave performances all over Latin America, particularly in São Paulo (Brazil), Buenos Aires (Argentina), El Metropolitan (Mexico), the Teresa Carreño Theater of Caracas (Venezuela), Madison Square Garden (New York), and many other cities in Europe and Asia.[7]

His most famous songs include Voy a apagar la luz (I'm Going to Turn Off the Lights), Contigo Aprendí ( With you I Learned... ), Adoro (I Adore), No sé tú (I don't know if you...), Por Debajo de la Mesa (Underneath the Table) Esta Tarde Vi Llover (English version "Yesterday I Heard the Rain"), Somos Novios (English version "It's Impossible"), Felicidad (Happiness) and Nada Personal (Nothing Personal).[citation needed]

Some of his melodies have also been recorded by jazz artists, like Bill Evans, Abbey Lincoln, Tete Montoliu.


On 17 December 2020, Manzanero was hospitalized in Mexico City after being diagnosed with COVID-19 during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mexico.[10] Manzanero died eleven days later from the virus, aged 85 on 28 December 2020, twenty one days after his birthday.[3] His body was cremated and his ashes were transferred to Mérida, in Yucatán where he was born and where there is a house museum in his honor.


Manzanero was presented with the Excellence Award at the 1993 Lo Nuestro Awards.[11] He received the Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010[12] as well as the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.[13] Manzanero was inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame in 2000,[14] the Billboard Latin Music Hall of Fame in 2003,[15] and the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2013.[16] Manzanero was presented with the ASCAP Latin Heritage Award in 2010.[17] He also earned the Billboard Latin Music Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020.[18]

Selected discography

See also


  1. ^ Ankeny, Jason Archived 12 November 2006 at the Wayback Machine. AllMusic.
  2. ^ "Reeligen a Manzanero en la SACM". Sipse. 9 December 2015. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  3. ^ a b Murió Armando Manzanero a los 85 años de edad
  4. ^ Jessica Ruiz Rubio (28 December 2020). "Semblanza de Armando Manzanero, cantante y compositor de talla internacional". Diario de Yucatán (in Spanish).
  5. ^ a b Armando Manzanero | terra
  6. ^ a b "Compositores Yucatecos – Armando Manzanero". Archived from the original on 19 May 2017. Retrieved 17 December 2006.
  7. ^ a b Biomusica Epoca De Oro: Biografia De Armando Manzanero
  8. ^ Manzanero y El General recibiran distinciones Billboard latino | terra
  9. ^ Solana, José Luis Archived 22 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Mexico Desconocido Online
  10. ^ "Yucatecan icon Armando Manzanero tested positive for Covid-19 and is hospitalized". The Yucatan Times. 21 December 2020.
  11. ^ "Lo Nuestro – Historia". Univision (in Spanish). Univision Communications. Archived from the original on 26 June 2015. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  12. ^ "Joao Donato, Armando Manzanero, Las Hermanas Marquez, Joseito Mateo, Jorge Onate, and Susana Rinaldi to Receive the Latin Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award". PR Newswire. 21 September 2010. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  13. ^ Roiz, Jessica Lucia (25 January 2014). "Armando Manzanero To Receive Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award". HuffPost. AOL. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  14. ^ "International Latin Music Hall of Fame Announces Year 2000 Inductees". 1 March 2000. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  15. ^ "Chayanne, Montenegro Take Billboard Latin Honors". Billboard. 2003. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
  16. ^ Cantor-Navas, Judy (28 January 2013). "Julio Iglesias in First Class to Enter Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame". Billboard. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  17. ^ "ASCAP Latin Heritage Award". ASCAP. Retrieved 8 December 2020.
  18. ^ Flores, Griselda (24 September 2020). "Armando Manzanero to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at 2020 Billboard Latin Music Awards". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 29 September 2020.