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Pau Donés, leader of Jarabe de Palo, dies at 53

Pau Donés, leader of Jarabe de Palo, dies at 53

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Singer-songwriter Pau Donés, vocalist of the group Jarabe de Palo, has died at the age of 53 as a result of the cancer he was diagnosed with in 2015 and against which he had been battling ever since.

In a brief statement published on the social media, the Donés Cirera family reported the death of the musician and thanked the medical team and all the staff of the hospitals where he was treated for “all their work and dedication during all this time.”

Donés never hid his disease, openly spoke about his fight against it and participated in several charity concerts for cancer research, before and after retiring from the stage, in January 2019.

However, last April, in the midst of the pandemic, he had announced his return to music, after being retired for more than a year, and on May 27 Jarabe de Palo released the video of its single “Eso que tú me das,” part of the album Tragas o escupes.

Pau Donés is the author of some of Spanish music’s big hits in recent decades, such as “La flaca,” “Depende,” “Humo,” “Grita” or “Bonito,” among other songs, which he has included in a dozen albums released.

As a composer, he wrote songs that were sung by Celia Cruz (“Dos días en la vida”), Ricky Martin (“Cambia la piel”), Alanis Morisette (“Everything”) or performed as a duo with Leiva (“Vecina”) and Crissie Hynde (“Cry”).

In the summer of 2015, he was found to have colon cancer, for which he underwent surgery at the Vall d’Hebron Hospital in Barcelona. The operation was not enough and he had to undergo a second one and chemotherapy sessions.

In April 2016, he announced that he was “clean” from the cancer he suffered from, but in February 2017, Donés announced that a new tumor had been detected in his peritoneum: “The crab was so asleep that I even came to believe I had been cured,” he wrote in a public letter at the time.

Despite the new blow, he decided to continue with his musical career and his tour of presentation of his eleventh album, “50 palos,” which coincided with the publication of his autobiography “50 palos… y sigo soñando,” referring to his 50th birthday.

He retired from the stage in January 2019 to focus on his cancer treatment and settled in California with his daughter, Sara, although he did not stop composing and returned to Barcelona to participate in two charity concerts to raise funds for cancer research.

In March of this year he reappeared in a video singing on the balcony of his Barcelona home, where he was in confinement, the song “Los ángeles visten de blanco,” in tribute to the health workers fighting against the coronavirus, and in April he released a preview of “Vuelvo,” where he expressed the need to return to the world of music: “Stepping on the stage is the only thing I think about,” he said.

In late May he released the video clip for the song “Eso que tú me das,” which heads the new Jarabe de Palo album, Tragas o escupes, in which, accompanied by his band, he did not hide the physical wearing out of his battle against the disease.


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