September 20, 2010

SPAIN: Singer-songwriter, politician José Antonio Labordeta dead at 75

BARCELONA, Spain / The Barcelona Reporter / News / September 20, 2010

Mr. José Antonio Labordeta died on Sunday in a Zaragoza hospital after battling prostate cancer for four years, said Chunta Aragonesista, the political party he represented during two terms in Parliament.

Spanish singer-songwriter, politician and author Jose Antonio Labordeta, a lifelong defender of democracy and of his native region of Aragon, died on Sunday from cancer. He was 75.

The party advocates for greater financial resources for Aragon, the protection of its environment and of the Aragonese language.

Labordeta’s musical career began with the release in 1974 of “Cantar y callar,” an album that showcased his pro-democracy convictions during the final months of the military dictatorship of Francisco Franco. His musical style combined traditional Aragonese tunes with modern Spanish folk melodies, and gained popularity throughout the country.

“He was a great Spaniard and a great patriot,” King Juan Carlos said.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero also paid tribute to Labordeta, saying at a political rally in Barcelona: “I remember and pay homage to Jose Antonio Labordeta, an authentic man who has left us and whom we love.”

Born March 10, 1935, in the Aragonese capital, Zaragoza, Labordeta graduated from the city’s university and became a teacher while pursuing his musical, literary and political interests

© 2010 AP