Estremera, who was albino, died at 2 p.m. local time in a Puerto Rico hospital “where he was detained for close to a week due to multiple health complications,” as reported by Primera Hora. In September 2018, the singer revealed that he was battling pulmonary fibrosis, a common condition among the albino community. Two months later, he underwent a dual lung transplant at Penn Medicine hospital in Philadelphia.
As translated by Facebook, Ruiz wrote, “How sad I feel about the death of my friend and colleague Cano Estremera. We lost one of the greatest soneros we had, today Puerto Rico and the salsa world are mourning for such a priceless loss! My heartfelt condolences to his wife Yamira, and all his relatives. May God have you in glory.”
Ruiz continued, “I will always remember all the advice you gave me, and all the anecdotes I lived next to you, your legacy will be eternal, because you were simply one of the greatest singers and soners of this kind.”
Born on September 2, 1958, in Santurce, Puerto Rico, Estremera became one of the most famous salsa bandleaders. Because he was albino, he was nicknamed White Estremera, “The White One,” according to his All Music biography.
Estremera Made 6 Albums With Bobby Valentin
Before Estremera struck out on a solo career in 1984, many of his most popular songs came from his collaboration with famous bassist and trumpeter Bobby Valentin. They recorded six albums together, along with former Sonora Ponceña singer Luiggi Texidor. One of their biggest hits was the song, “La boda de ella” — which translates in English to “Her Wedding” — which was written by Roberto Anglero. It became the band’s best-selling song.
As a solo artist, Estremera toured the United States, Brazil and Puerto Rico. His biggest hit was “El Toro” which translates in English to “The Bull.”
Tributes to Estremera Filled Social Media Following the News of His Death
Confirmado: falleció "El dueño del Soneo" Cano Estremera.
Paz en tu tumba, sonero. pic.twitter.com/OBOryp2P0M
— Salsa na' ma' (@salsanamasalsa) October 28, 2020
Estremera was beloved by his family, friends, fans and fellow musicians, and social media filled with moving tributes to the singer following his death on Wednesday.
“A very big sadness at this time overwhelms the Sonora Ponceña Family, as our great friend, brother and colleague Carlos Enrique ‘Cano’ Estremera Colón has departed into the Creator’s arms and is one more star joining the heavenly salsa firmament,” the band Sonora Ponceña wrote in a post that was translated to English by Facebook’s translation option.
“Enrique ‘Papo’ Lucca, Jahath Lucca, Zulma Lucca and other members of the Sonora Ponceña express our condolences to his wife children and family,” the band’s note continued. “May the Lord give you the strength for such a difficult time you are living… our thought and heart is with you… fly high dear Cano Estremera.”
El cantante salsero Cano Estremera falleció en la tarde de hoy, uno de los grandes soneros de este género. 🎤 pic.twitter.com/1tX0pTyuju
— Entérate Cali (@EnterateCali) October 28, 2020
Se nos fue el 'Dueño del soneo' Carlos Enrique Estremera Colón, más conocido como 'Cano Estremera', te vamos a extrañar 😔😢 mucha fuerza para sus familiares, amigos, seguidores y nuestros hermanos puertoriqueños. 🙌🏿 pic.twitter.com/4cXL2L9X89
— Grupo Niche (@gruponiche) October 28, 2020
A fan tweeted, “He was one of my favorites. I saw him in the ‘hood in Philly and in Lorain, Ohio. I was just streaming a live show he did in the 90s. A true sonero.”