Music fans in Mexico were devastated by the sudden death of José Manuel Zamacona on July 4th, 2021 at the age of 69. He was the lead singer and founder of the iconic Mexican grupero band Los Yonics.

Born in San Luis de la Loma, Guerrero, Zamacona formed Los Yonics in 1975. He moved the band to Acapulco where they began making hits. Some of the band’s hits in this period include “Soy Yo,” and “Tres Tristes Tigres.”

In the 80s, Zamacona lead Los Yonics to popular fame with hit after hit. Songs like “Palabras Tristes,” “Rosas Blancas,” “Títere,” and “Pétalo y Espinas” cement Los Yonics to popularity since then. However, it is the song “Pero Te Vas a Arrepentir” featuring Marco Antonio Solis of Los Bukis that gained major attraction to grupero bands.

Even when he was struck with poliomyelitis at age 2, Zamacona wasn’t deterred and continued to make music until the end. But it was complications of COVID-19 that took his life despite his being vaccinated in March.

José Manuel Zamacona was an icon in the world of romantic music. His legacy, as well as the legacy of Los Yonics, will live on. But for a while, there are only palabras tristes.