Song legend Manzanero, 85, improving in battle with COVID-19

Armando Manzanero in concert. Undated file photo
Armando Manzanero in concert. Undated file photo

Mexican composer and Yucatecan singer Armando Manzanero, a bolero icon, is recovering satisfactorily after being hospitalized on Thursday with COVID-19, his press office reported Saturday.

“He is stable, in a very good mood (…). His oxygenation has already increased, which is what the doctors were concerned about, but it is going very well,” says a brief message released by the composer’s press staff. A family member characterized his condition as still “frail.”

Manzanero, who turned 85 on Dec. 7, was hospitalized in Mexico City after testing positive for COVID-19 and presenting a cough and low oxygenation. Five days earlier, he was in Mérida for a low-key inauguration of a museum dedicated to his life and career.

He developed a cough on the way back to Mexico City, but it is not clear where Manzaneo contracted the highly contagious virus.

Although he was photographed alongside Yucatan Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal, the state executive said he had fully recovered from the virus after a late-October positive diagnosis.

Mexico City and the neighboring State of Mexico declared on a red alert on Friday as infections increased and available hospital beds dwindled.

In Yucatán, which remains under orange alert, 103 new infections and four deaths were reported Thursday. Daily new cases have been mainly in the triple digits since the middle of last week.

Rumor put to rest

Martha Manzanero Arjona, daughter of the “king of romanticism” and his first wife María Elena Arjona, denied rumors of the singer’s death when speaking with a reporter for the Efe news agency

“Thank God he is responding to the treatment against covid-19 and will soon be home,” said his daughter, who along with her brothers Armando, María Elena and Diego left Mérida to move to Mexico City.

His children never lost faith, she explained, since they have always considered him “a warrior” since the singer-songwriter “has always enjoyed good health.”

Although he has suffered from diabetes for years, his condition has always been under control, according to the family, so he can still travel to give concerts and record albums.

His wife Laura Elena Villa also confirmed this Saturday Manzanero’s improvement.

“My husband is stable and eager to improve,” she declared.

Martha and Laura thanked the public, family and dozens of artists with whom Manzanero has shared the stage and others who have recorded their songs created more than 50 years ago for the expressions of affection and prayers.

Among his most emblematic hits are “Adoro,” “Mía,” “This Afternoon I Saw it Rain,” and “I learned with you.”

Throughout his 74-year career, Manzanero has sung with peers from all over the world, such as the Spanish singer Alejandro Sanz, Carmen París, the pop band Presuntos Implicados and musician Miguel Bosé.

He also joined with Cubans Celia Cruz, Halia María Mompié and Francisco Céspedes; the Mexicans Luis Miguel, Marco Antonio Muñiz, Pedro Vargas, Lucero and Susana Zavaleta, and the Brazilians Roberto Carlos and Ellis Regina.

On Friday, the singer-songwriter was at the inauguration in Mérida of the Museo Casa Manzanero, in which the artists Carlos Cuevas and Coque Muñiz were present.

“I think I’m being rewarded for life,” Manzanero said in an interview with Efe last October.

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