Hector LaVoe was born Hector Juan Perez, on September 30th, 1946 in Ponce, Puerto Rico. "El Cantante De Los Cantantes", as he is affectionately known, came to New York at age 17 with a big dream. With no type of singing training this skinny kid from Ponce, caught the ears of Johnny Pacheco. Pacheco was amazed by Hector singing. But because Pacheco already had a singer, Lavoe only sang sparingly on weekend gigs.
Later Pacheco, introduced to Lavoe a young talented trombonist who was in need of a singer for his new label called "Fania". Willie Colon was the talented trombonist. Colon was in the process of a new recording with Al Santiago's Alegre label when Pacheco saw the potential of Colon and included him on his team. And from there they began building something.
Lavoe and Colon collaborated for eight years and for more than 10 albums. Willie Colon and Lavoe combined salsa, originally Afro-Cuban music, with Puerto Rican bombas, plenas, orisa, baquine y aginaldos, cumbia, merengue, and other Latin American music, as well as Jazz. Hector Lavoe sang every aspect of our culture and religions from Catholicism to Santeria. Many hits like "Che Che Cole" to "Rompe Saraguey" to "El Todo Poderoso" to "Mi Gente" .
Hector and Willie parted ways and most people thought that Lavoe could not make it on his own. They were proved wrong as Lavoe became even more popular. With hits like "El Cantante", "Periodico De Ayer", "Plato De Segunda Mesa" and many others Lavoe was at the top where he belonged.
Lavoe started a romantic relationship with Carmen Castro. Castro became pregnant but refused to marry him because she considered him a "womanizer." Lavoe's first son, José Alberto Pérez was born on October 30, 1968. A year later Héctor received a call informing him that Puchi Román was pregnant. Héctor's second son, Héctor Jr. was born on September 25, 1969. The couple married, and following a request by Román, Lavoe kept the amount of contact with Castro and José Alberto to a minimum during their marriage.
Although he had fame, Hector also had to face many tragedies that followed him throughout his life. His mother died when he was only four years old. Later on in life, he suffered the death of his brother in a car wreck, the accidental death of his son who was only 17 years old, the murder of his mother-in-law, followed by the death of his father. The weight of these tragedies plus the alcohol…