Dominican Merengue Legend Johnny Ventura Passes Away At 81

By Kirsten Savik

July 29, 2021

Hey Latin lovers! It's K Marie, a white girl in a Hispanic world and since yesterday people from the Dominican Republic "están de luto" or in english we say "in mourning." One of their legends in Merengue music has passed away at 81 years old and his name was Johnny Ventura. To put into perspective how important he was to the music community and the country of The Dominican Republic, many called him the Elvis Presley of Dominican music. He was a legend, he was kind, and he was loved by so many. His son Jandy Ventura confirmed with CNN that the cause of his death was a heart attack.

Juan de Dios Ventura Soriano was from La Vega, Dominican Republic and started his musical journey at the age of 16 when he participated in a broadcast on "La Voz de La Alegría Weekly." His catalogue of music over the years is extremely impressive with amazing music in Merengue and Salsa. He had so many hits including '¿Pitaste?' y 'Merenguero Hasta La Tambora.' If you didn't know, Merengue is a Genre of music that originated in the Dominican Republic played with instruments including an accordion, güira, y tambora.

Many Dominican artists have made statements on Instagram after his passing including Prince Royce who said, "Your music will always be a part of the band sonora of our lives and your legacy gives our country and people so much pride. Rest in Peace." Also Juan Luis Guerra wrote, "For your music, your legacy, for your smile and example, and for how you always dressed like a party every morning, and teaching us all what is Merengue. Thank you Don Johnny!!!"

And even though this is in Spanish, I wanted to share this video of iHeartRadio's syndicated radio host Enrique Santos interviewing Johnny in a hotel room bed. It just shows how cool and fun he was. The fact that a legend would be up to jumping in a bed to do an interview speaks for itself.

We love you Johnny Ventura!

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