Updated 03:56 AM EDT, Wed, Apr 08, 2020

Latin American Pop Star Gustavo Cerati Dead at 55

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Argentine pop icon Gustavo Cerati, former leader of popular Latin American band Soda Stereo, died Thursday in the ALCLA medical center in Buenos Aires. He was 55. His wake will be held at Buenos Aires Legislature.

Cerati was the frontman for the band Soda Stereo before becoming a solo artist. He was the winner of four Latin Grammys and was one of the most influential figures in the Latin American rock genre. Cerati had been in a coma since he suffered a stroke following a show in Caracas, Venezuela in 2010.

While in a coma Cerati was named a "Distinguished Citizen" by the city of Buenos Aires, where he was born. His death rapidly garnered sympathy messages on twitter from other artists including Shakira and Ricky Martin. Argentine president Cristina Kirchner also posted her condolences

While doctors never gave up their optimism that Cerati would revive from his coma, Charly Alberti, Soda Stereo's drummer, was not optimistic for his bandmates recovery. In a 2011 interview with Newsweek Alberti said, "There are days when I feel very bad. I opted to stop visiting him because I would be out for 15 days afterward, it was very painful. The only thing I hope for is that this is over quickly... He doesn't deserve for this to be so lengthy."

Cerati typically wrote songs about seduction, inner turmoil and disillusionment, which helped him establish a strong following in the youth demographic. Soda Stereo released seven albums with Sony Music between 1984 and 1994, selling millions of records over the course of their time together. The bands popularity expanded from Argentina through South America and before finding an audience in Mexico and Spain. They were one of the few bands to cross as many borders and become so popular across so many Latin American countries.

After Soda Stereo disbanded in 1997, Cerati launched his solo career, winning several Grammys and MTV Video Music Awards. He later married Chilean actress and model Cecilia Amenbar, with whom he had two children.  In 2007 the band returned for a final tour aptly titled The Last Concert. As part of this series of concerts, they sold out the Rive Plate Stadium six times, breaking the previous record holders, The Rolling Stones.

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