SAN ANTONIO, May 17 (UPI) -- Famed Tejano singer Emilio Navaira has reportedly died after experiencing a massive heart attack. The musician was 53 years old.
The Texas native's death was confirmed by several friends in the industry on social media, including publicist Norma Duran and Felix Mendoza of the Texas Talent Musicians Association.
"I regretfully inform you that the rumor has been confirmed," Duran wrote in a message translated from Spanish by The Latin Times. "The Texas musical family is mourning. Rest in peace Emilio Navaira. My deepest condolences to all his family and fans."
"On behalf of TTMA and Staff and all Emilio Navaira Tejano Music Fans our Prayer Goes out to His Family and Raulito Navaira on Emilio Navaira Passing," Mendoza added in a statement to Facebook. "Tejano Music Mourn the loss of Tejano Music Icon Emilio Navaira. Our Music has lost one of the great performers in our Genre."
The musical partner of the late Selena Quintanilla, Navairo has been described as the "Garth Brooks of the Tejano music industry." Famously connected to Quintanilla for their duet "Tu Robaste Mi Corazon," Navairo was one of the Tejano pioneers who helped bring the genre to the mainstream.
"Rest in paradise my friend Emilio Navaira. I was just with him ... (Cinco) de Mayo weekend laughing about old times. My heart goes out to all his familia. Gonna miss you brother," Quintanilla's brother, A.B. Quintanilla, wrote on Facebook early Tuesday.
Reports say Navaira suffered a massive heart attack before his death, but San Antonio's News 4 reported police did not confirm the rumor.