Dominican singer-songwriter Johnny Ventura, a figure of merengue, died Wednesday at the age of 81 from a heart attack, in Santiago de la Caballeros, in the north of the Dominican Republic.

Nicknamed "El Caballo Mayor" ("Big Horse"), Johnny Ventura, who had also been deputy mayor of Santo Domingo, the Dominican capital, has produced more than 100 albums, becoming an icon of Caribbean and Latin music.

He was notably the author of the hits

La muerte de Martin




Cabo 'e vela


We can notably hear his music in

Sang pour Sang

by the Coen brothers (1984) or

Les Envoûtés

by John Schlesinger (1987).

Three days of national mourning

Dominican President Luis Abinader has decreed three days of national mourning on July 29, 30 and 31 in homage to Ventura, his real Juan de Dios Ventura Soriano, who will be entitled to military honors.

"For your music and your heritage, for your smile and your example, for your good humor and for showing us all what merengue is!"

Thank you Don Johnny, ”Dominican musician Juan Luis Guerra wrote on Twitter.

Former President Leonel Fernandez (1996-2000) hailed him “a glory of merengue, an exceptional human being and a tireless defender of the Constitution.

Its artistic and patriotic heritage is a symbol of “Dominicanity” ”.


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  • Dominican Republic

  • Culture

  • Music