One of Latin America’s most successful composers, the music of Armando Manzanero is regularly enjoyed across the world.
His works have been translated into dozens of languages and, in 2014, he was recognised with a lifetime achievement Grammy Award.
But following hospitalisation with Covid-19, the singer has died aged 85 from a kidney problem.
While he may not be a household name everywhere, his death affected Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador so much he was forced to end a press conference early.
Born in the Yucatan region of Mexico, Manzanero started studying at music school when he was eight.
By 15, he had composed his first piece – Never In The World – and, the following year, became a professional pianist.
Manzanero would later work for international record label EMI, performing alongside other greats from the world of Latin American entertainment.
He gained even more attention after producing his own album of Spanish-language love songs.
One of the tracks was translated into English, and became the 1970s Grammy-nominated hit It’s Impossible for Perry Como.
In the years which followed, the crooner’s work would be performed by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Elvis Presley.
Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador praised the Manzanero as “a great composer, and the country’s best”.
“Besides that, he was a man with sensitivity, on social questions as well,” the president noted.
At his daily news conference Mr Lopez Obrador played a video clip of Manzanero singing the song Adoro.
But he appeared so overcome by emotion at the news of his death that he cut the segment short.
“I do not want to continue with this press conference. It ends here,” Mr Lopez Obrador said before playing the clip.
Manzanero was born in Merida, the capital of Yucatan state, and his ashes will be returned there, his manager said.
He was proud of his roots in the largely Maya indigenous state, noting: “I am a Mexican of Mayan ancestry, I am a Mayan Indian.”
In a 2020 interview with The Associated Press, Manzanero expressed pride at how other artists continued to sing songs he wrote decades ago.
“The song I wrote 50 or 60 years ago is still alive,” he said. “Even flowers don’t live that long.”
He had several ex-wives, seven children and 16 grandchildren, all of whom survived him.
Paul Williams, who wrote hits including the Carpenters’ We’ve Only Just Begun and Rainy Days And Mondays, described Manzanero as a “beautiful man” and “brilliant songwriter”.
He wrote on Twitter: “Armando Manzanero is among the all-time greatest songwriters and performers in Latin music.
“A great advocate for songwriters, a good friend, whose joyous and infectious spirit will be missed by all of us in the music community who had the pleasure to know him.
“Dinner with Armando was seldom less than three hours and his stories were the best thing on the menu!
“We’ll miss your company Maestro but your heart remains in all those lovely songs.”
CNN correspondent Ana Navarro-Cardenas said: “Music-lovers all the world over are in mourning today.
“He’s one of the greatest song-writers in Latin American history.
“Beloved by many who danced to and fell in love with his ballads. His music will live forever.”
And musician Jose Feliciano said: “Covid-19 robbed us of another great artist, my dear friend, Armando Manzanero.
“I met Armando when I was just a teenager and his were among the very first songs I ever recorded as his music touched me so deeply.”