Juan Gabriel
Juan Gabriel performs onstage at the Billboard Latin Music Awards at Bank United Center on April 28, 2016 in Miami, Florida. Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images

Just weeks after Juan Gabriel died of a heart attack, the Telemundo series "Hasta Que Te Conocí" — based on the Mexican legendary singer's life — aired to record-breaking viewership. As the biopic series entered its second week, Billboard interviewed Carlos Yorvick, who plays Gabriel from 17 to 20 years old.

Gabriel died Aug. 28 at the age of 66 at his home in Santa Monica, California, following a heart attack. His biopic series, which premiered on Sunday, Sept. 11, was seen by 2.9 million viewers, according to Nielsen, making it the highest-rated scripted weekend premiere on Spanish-language television in over five years.

In the interview, Yorvick opened up about his experience and the challenges he faced playing the role of the icon, saying that "it was nerve-racking to play someone so important."

He told Billboard that there were many similarities between the two such as Gabriel's birthday on January 7 while his falls on January 9. Both were musicians before becoming an actor. Yorvick also revealed that some of the vocals in "Hasta Que Te Conocí" are his own.

"I had to be very careful with each thing, because there’s a fine line between reality and comedy. Juan Gabriel was an artist in every sense of the word. It had to be interpretation, not imitation," Yorvick said.

Yorvick told Billboard that he was to meet Gabriel for the first time at his Los Angeles concert, which was incidentally just the day before he died. However, Yorvick failed to attend it as he had to travel to Mexico for an interview.

"The plan was to have dinner with him September 3 in Guadalajara, after his concert there," Yorvick said. "My only communication with him was through [series producer] Mary Black, who sent me his congratulations because he was very happy with how I played the role."

Gabriel led a colorful life, his childhood was spent in an orphanage, at one point he was a homeless and he also had a stint in prison

To pursue his dreams of making it big in the music industry, he traveled to many different Mexican cities. A turning point in his career was when he got an opportunity to sing at the nightclub El Noa Noa, becoming a local sensation and gaining many fans within Ciudad Juárez.

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