Cuban musician Compay Segundo, who starred in Wim Wenders' film Buena Vista Social Club, has died in Havana aged 95.
The musician learned his musical skills in the 1920s
The performer had cancelled a series of concerts planned for this summer around Europe after suffering from a severe kidney infection, according to his Spanish record company Dro-EastWest.
His group, Compay Segundo y sus Muchachos, was formed in 1956 and was still active at the time of his death.
Were you a fan of Segundo's music? This tributes page is now closed but please see below for a selection of your comments.
I remember when my partner and I were his favourite dancers, and worked together in theatres throughout Europe. I will always remember those enjoyable times and I am very sad that we have lost him. My condolences to his family.
Elisa Burgal, Cuba
It is a great shock and loss to humanity. I really feel profound sorrow for your death. You and your music will continue to live. You are a legend and people love you. You always touched my heart with it. I offer my condolences to his family, friends and the Cubans. May your soul rest in peace. Adios Compay.
He didn't know me, but through the music of Ry Cooder I knew him. Totally irreplaceable. May your God be with you.
Many blessings to the family and friends of Compay. Your lives were so blessed.
Shon' Jones, USA
Music is immortal. Compay's harmony will live forever.
A sad day for the world, but then death is also a part of life. So you did touch our lives when you were alive, and you did touch our lives when you died and you will continue to make a difference with all the beautiful music you left behind.
I fell in love with this sweet man when I heard his duet with Omara Portuondo in the Buena Vista Social Club, his rich baritone and skilful guitar playing were just some of qualities that won over so many hearts in so many countries. Ever the gentleman and ever the Cuban, a man of this mettle is certainly hard to come by. Albricias para Compay! Albricias para Cuba! La vida, y el amor!
Anneliese Hopper, USA
Thanks to Compay y sus Muchachos for giving us their musical heart, and to Wim Wenders for showing them to the world.
Ted Ludgate, USA
Compay Segundo was an inspiration to the world, showing that even in old age, one can continue to live life fully and not give up on one's dreams. It amazes me that this whole group of musicians can still continue to tour and share their beautiful music well into their 70s, 80s and 90s. He was a talented man and his music brought joy, laughter, tears, and inspiration to so many. My condolences to his family, friends, and to his fellow musicians. You will be missed.
Alison Gervais, USA
For his age I was very impressed with his spirit and am happy his name will be remembered, he deserves the fame.
Lystra Grant, Grenada/Cuba
Somebody sad that the Cuban music flows like a river, so...Compay met the sea. Muchas gracias, compadre. Muitas saudades!
What a sad moment for Cuba and his comrades alike such as the BVSC! A true great who showed the world that fame and fortune mean nothing compared to the pure passion and love for their native music. The world is a much more hollow drum without Compay Segundo.... may the heavens welcome him with endless Cohibas!
A great contribution to the world of music. A wonderful, warm human being. Generous musician and a model for many who knew him either personally, or through his fame as a musician.
Compay, siempre recordare tu musica y la manera de como viviste la vida.
Thanks Compay, thanks.
It is a great loss...I am so sad. I have been blessed to have seen him three times at his concerts from when he was only 82. My last time was only last year. Lovely person, fantastic musician . . .what a legacy he has left behind!!! My deepest condolonces to his family and friends.
I am a Cuban-American who grew up hearing this man's beautiful music. I feel as sad as when my father passed away. Muchisimas gracias, Compay, y feliz siempre.
Robert del Valle, USA
With Compay's passing we've lost a remarkable human being. It's a sad day for us all but he will continue to be an inspiration for a long long time. He leaves behind a remarkable body of work.
Ru Rahman, UK
Compay Segundo lived his life to the full. He introduced me to the world of Cuban music and I have become an aficionado ever since. I will miss him, but his music will live on forever! Descanse en paz.
Thank you for bringing to all the people in the world one of the most fantastic voices of Cuban music. Obrigada e descança em paz.
Susana Carvalho, Portugal
Adios Compay Segundo and thank you for the music and inspiration.
Sally Guerrero, Philippines
I have known his music for only a short time, but its spirit had lain dormant all my life and was awakened by this man and his country. His talent will ensure that we are not the last to experience the cultural metamorphosis and his immortality is thereby guaranteed. "Hasta La Musica Siempre"
Bob Strachan, Scotland
Compay Segundo, rest in peace my brother. You inspired a lot of people to pursue their dreams, despite of their age. I love Afro-Cuban music, that's what makes New York.
Bronx, New York, USA
May your passing enlighten more souls of this world of the passionate melodies that you have endowed our hearts with. Hasta Luego Amigo.
Bobby Pierce, Earth
May we all live to be your age full of life and spirit as you did. Ashé.
Darren López, Puerto Rico
Thanks for the great music. We all miss you.
I saw this brilliant man play at the Festival Hall a few years back. He not only sang and played his guitar superbly, but danced and attributed his longevity to "Rum, cuban cigars and women" in that order! His charisma will be sorely missed.
Helen Hayward, UK
We've lost an absolute treasure but what a legacy Compay and his colleagues leave us. Viva Cuba Livre, viva Son, and see you in Havana 26th December.
A sad loss of such a sweet, talented and lovely "old" man, whom I enjoyed seeing in concert in Brussels a few years ago. I hope the successful happy end of his life made up for the many years of hardship.
What a sad loss. His music will go on and on. The feeling in his music is so strong and his own finest works are a fitting tribute to his life. So it is with great pleasure but also great sadness that I will now listen to some!
Right now I am paying tribute to Compay the only way I know how: listening to his music.
You have inspired and will continue to inspire more generations than you will ever know. Via Con Dias Amigo.
Compay, the great unknown musician, rest in peace!
Your music made me feel like I was in Cuba all my life, good bye my friend.
Mihai Diaconu, Romania
What a sad day for music and the pursuit of joie de vivre; Compay Segundo and Benny Carter at the very same day. We are all poorer.
We in Canada have been privileged to have kept the doors open to Cuba since 1959. The exchange of cultures has been beneficial to both nations. I saw Compay perform at the Music Hall on the Danforth. What a joy! What a great loss to the music world!
Bob Holmes, Canada
He leaves behind his music and an example of vitality. We will miss him. Descanse en paz.
Odon de Buen,
Bless you, Compay. World peace.
On top of being a top musician, Compay Segundo was a lovely person. I was having a cocktail in the garden of Hotel Nacional in Havana when an old man shuffled past, his arm resting on a friend's shoulder. He made eye contact, smiled and gave a nod to anyone he passed.
Oblivious to who he was (although familiar to some of his music) I smiled and nodded back. The man at the next table along jumped up and asked to take a photo of the old man. When the old man had moved along, the man with the camera excitedly told his wife the old man was Compay Segundo. And sure enough the musician sat down a bit further on to be interviewed by a camera team.
What a surprise! Even if I had not realised who he was, he had already touched me in the simplest of ways. To then learn that this modest man was Compay Segundo highlighted even more the simplicity of how you can beam happiness to those around you. I'm very glad that I was able to see him once just a few months before his death. I feel privileged to have known his happy smile.
UK, living in NL, posting from USA
When a friend told me Compay had passed away, I felt almost like a relative of mine was gone. As a journalist, I had the chance to be around him a couple of times and he not only was a great artist, but a great person, with a incredible sense of humor and a great personality. I had the privilege of attending his last live presentation and I still can't believe there won't be anymore. Descanse en Paz, Compay.
Paty Maciel, Mexico
Who, who has watched Bueno Vista Social club can ever forget Compay? The 90+ man who chewed on a great big cigar and declared his love for the good things in life and looked forward to making more babies. He made me, barely in my twenties feel old and lifeless. He had a lot of elan vital! Adios Muchahco, I'll never forget you, you helped me understand one is only as old as one wants to be. Hasta La Vista Muchacho.
Harry Mbang, Cameroon
I spent a few weeks in Cuba a few years ago and and swear that the music gets into your blood
Chris, Irish living in Australia
Compay Segundo embodied, along with the other members of the Buena Vista Social Club, the pure enjoyment of music only attainable after a lifetime spent living it. Another great loss for the music world
A magical man. And a tribute to his country.
The Buena Vista Social Club was the real deal. Fabulous tunes and great attitude. Segundo is a very sad loss to the scene.
Jo & Bob Swaine, UK
This was a man and a musician for whom the word 'great' was actually appropriate. His song, 'Chan Chan' makes my hair stand on end: its intro has to be one of the most stirring ever. His influence on Cuban music has been profound; his skill and sheer cool would be the envy of any westerner. Above all, don't you just LOVE a rogue like him? God bless you, Compay; sweet dreams.
We will miss your great voice and wisdom. You were not only a musician but an inspirational person to many of us. God bless you.
Mr. K. Mpenda Muziki,
Sadly happy. A great man, great personality, positive and charismatic. I think everyone who knew Buenavista Social Club will always remember him as a positive person with great talent and experience. I think we´ll all remember this:
De Alto Cedro voy para Marcan
Llego a Cueto, voy para Mayar
Viva Compay Segundo!
I saw Compay sing in Paris - what a joy to us all - what a life he lived for all his people - he was recognised by the world. I will miss him but his music will live on and the youth of Cuba will have hope, love, sadness and joy... for all of us to understand that music, love & life are one...
Compay, we will never forget you.
Hammam Mohamad Al_Rifai,
I have seen him play in Havana on New Years Day 2001 at a free concert on the anniversary of Castro's victory over Batista. The charisma that this frail man still exuded aged 93 was overwhelming. A very, very special man indeed, and a wonderful musician.
Masters like Compay Segundo are rare. His music soothes the soul and leaves an everlasting impression on one's psyche. I believe it will take another 95 years to produce such tremendous artist. The gods must be happy, he finally went home. Do your thing Compay in the great beyond.
Charles Massaquoi, USA
A human gem has been sent off to the heavens. I learned of Compay Segundo through documentaries, and heard his talent throught the Buena Vista Social Club CD. His personality appeared to be nothing less than a true celebration of life. The most memorable statement I heard from him was, "at 93 years of age, I want to father a son". Hasta luego Compay Segundo. Gracias por sus lindas memorias y por su gran ejemplo. Dios lo reciba.
I saw the film Buena Vista Social Club several times and finally bought the video as well as the sound track. I teach geography of Latin America in Chicago and show portions of the film with Compay making his lovely music in my classes. I was very sad to hear Compay has left us, but I am very grateful to Wim Wenders for searching out the musicians and bringing the group back together again. To hear them play together, it was as if there had not been a gap of decades when fingers didn't touch keys on instruments. Compay's songs boiled things down to the basic elements of life and he gave us so much.
Sarah Brooks, USA
Although you are gone, your sweet, sweet music, will live on and on, and will continue to sway the young and old.
"Dos Gardenias para ti": your special guitar and beautiful voice will forever stay with us Compay Segundo. Rest in peace.
Chicken consome... cure for hangovers. I will never forget that line from the Buena Vista Social Club documentary. Thanks Compay.
Maestro, thank you for your incredible and unforgettable music.
Petrit Hoxha, Kosovo
The warmth of his soul always came through strongly in his music and his interactions with people. One only needs to see the Buena Vista documentary for it. He will be sorely missed.
Vijay Subramanian, India
One just has to admire a man who enjoys life the way Compay did. His music is his legacy and will continue to bring the Cuban "joie de vivre" to the many people who, like me, have discovered Cuba thanks to the great Maestro. Muchas Gracias Compay!
I fell in love with the music of Buena Vista Social Club after seeing the film. The simple joy of Cuban music transcends cultural boundaries. Segundo will be missed.
Andrew Lam, United States of America
Warmest thanks to the maestro, and deepest condolences to his family. Compay's voice reminded me of the incredible, rich joys that life can offer in its simplest moments, when I needed it most. I know he touched many, many others, and that his legacy and spirit and voice live on.
Durba Chattaraj, India, USA
I believe Compay touched people by his love of life more than anything else he could have done. He was one of the greats. Along with Benny Carter, this world has lost immortal souls in a world filled with too few. Adios Compay and Benny.
I had the enormous pleasure of seeing Compay play live three time. He was an inspiration to us all in his love of music and life. He brought joy into so many lives and I hope that heaven has enough rum, cigars and beautiful women to keep him happy!
Requiescat, Compay Segundo! A man of great emotional and musical integrity who gave soulful joy freely to millions.
Axis of evil - a country full of people like Compay? I don't think so. This guy (along with Ibrahim Ferrer and Ruben Gonsalez) inspired me to visit Cuba, a visit I have never regretted. Happy to see that so many of the tributes so far come from Americans. As to Compay himself, a loveable rogue and rascal if ever there was one ... if you remember the opening sequence of the movie, then "Swing low, sweet Cadillac ... old Cadillacs never die ..."
Jonathan Challis, UK
The news of Compay Segundo's death saddened me greatly. I was lucky enough to see him live at the tender age of 93, and am delighted that worldwide recognition of his beautiful music came eventually. I thoroughly recommend his recent albums Las flores de la Vida and Duets, they are magnificent.
Greece / UK
You will always live in my heart.
Compay, Thanks for sharing your life and music with us. You will always live in our hearts and souls.
I have always dreaded this moment...but I am prepared. Compay did not pass like a morning breeze. His three albums are enough for the rest of my life
Philip Axacha, Cameroon
A heavy and dark cloud descended on me this morning when I heard the sad news. Compay made me cry in 1999 with his movie performance and again this morning. Long live Cuban music!
As a musician who now dearly loves Cuba and its music, I can honestly say that Compay Segundo and those other heroes of the Buena Vista Social Club have changed my life. Through that album I've discovered a wealth of wonderful music and travelled to the island of Cuba, where I've been lucky enough to make friends and play with some of the many other fabulous musicians there. And I have a lovely Cuban girlfriend now. Gracias Compay - viva tu música!
Keith Johnson, United Kingdom
Lamento profundamente la perdida de tan excelso musico y promotor de la real musica Cubana. Descansa en paz, sabiendo que nunca te olvidarán. I am desperately sad at the loss of such a great musician and promoter of real Cuban music. Rest in peace, knowing they will never forget you.
Frank Kaiser, Venezuela
Compay Segundo was among my favourite musicians of all time. His legendary grace with the laud and his voice will not be forgotten. Salud companero!
Taylor MacDonald, Canada
I was heartbroken to hear of the death of the great Compay Segundo - a truly inspiring man whose music brought light and laughter as well as passion and tears. His seemingly endless enthusiasm for life as well as music should be a lesson to us all. Adios Compay, y gracias.
Charlie Freeman, UK
Thank you for bringing sunshine to the cold north. What a life - bravo!
Maria Christensen, Denmark
I only discovered Cuban music after visiting Cuba........fantastic........best thing I ever did. What a sad loss.
Sharon Fagan, Scotland
Compay Segundo gave so much joy and lived life to the full. He taught us (younger generations) to sing and love life no matter what happens. He was a free and happy man. Gracias Compay Segundo!
Nury Stevens, USA
I saw Compay Segundo play in Chicago a few years ago. When he came on the stage, I noticed he was moving very slowly and deliberately - I figured that was normal for someone of that advanced age. Then, I realised he was dancing along in time with the music. He will be missed very much.
Compay Segundo was a man whose soul was filled with a love of music, women, cigars and life. He exuded charm and charisma. He communicated not through his words but through his song, music and the bright sparkle of his eyes and vitality of his laughter. His personality and music brought him into contact with the world, kept him young and made us all the better and happier for it.
Adele Vera-Angel, USA
This generation of Cuban musicians is a treasure to humanity. Their music is from their hearts, and Compay was the epitome of this thought. This man performed his music out of his respect of life and love, and that is something that is almost extinct in this world. The way he lived his life will inspire me till the day I perish as well.
I will miss you Compay, but will always redeem happiness from the soulful music you have brought to this world.
I am very very sorry to hear about the death of a grand maestro who has touched so many people with his music and his attitude to life. I offer my deep condolences to his family and friends.
Although you are gone, your music lives on. Rest now, son of Cuba (and Africa), you will be terribly missed.
Serena Swaleh, United Kingdom