Juan Gabriel performs during tribute to Mexican comedian and director Roberto Gomez Bolanos, "America celebrates Chespirito," in Mexico City February 29, 2012. Reuters

Back in April 2014, Juan Gabriel was struggling with pneumonia at a hospital in Las Vegas. Four days later, he was released but readmitted the same day, which sparked rumors about other possible diseases such as heart failure and cancer. His publicists released a statement clarifying the singer’s condition and announced his tour “Volver 2014” had to be postponed indefinitely.

A year later, “El Divo de Juárez” is back with a new tour and a new album, “Los Dúo,” which was recently reported to be at the top of Universal Music’s album sales. While still touring in México, Juanga received the news about Joan Sebastian’s death and agreed to an interview via email with El Reforma to talk about his long-time friend.

He told the Mexican newspaper that the last time he saw “El Rey del Jaripeo” was December 2014 at his house in Cancún. Marco Antonio Solís, Amanda Miguel, and Diego Verdaguer were also present: “When he came to see me with Marco Antonio Solís we said we would meet in Juliantla on April 8, the day of the Albertos, but then he was taken to the hospital in Puebla, and he just had to wait, and have patience.”

During the interview, the singer empathized with Joan’s last moments and revealed that he died at the hospital in Las Vegas but came back with permission: “I already died when I was in Las Vegas. I don’t remember if it was May or June, but I came back because they gave me permission to come back.”

He then added, “I don’t know for how long, but I know that while I sing, write nice songs, record, and go up and down with my tours, I will transform into what I’ve done: music.”

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