|Birth name||Jose Antonio Torresola Ruiz|
|Also known as||El Papa de la Salsa |
March 10, 1958|
Paterson, New Jersey, USA
|Died||August 9, 1998
New York, New York, USA
Ruiz (birth name: Jose Antonio Torresola Ruiz [note 1]) was born and raised in Paterson, New Jersey. His parents moved from Puerto Rico to the United States in search of a better way of life. In Paterson, Ruiz received his primary and secondary education. As a child he enjoyed singing to the tunes of salsa and as a young man joined a local band called The Charlie Lopez Orchestra. With this band he recorded his first song Salsa Buena. In 1976, Ruiz moved to Mayagüez, Puerto Rico with his mother after his parents divorced.
In Puerto Rico, Ruiz became a fan of a salsa band called La Solucion, directed by Roberto Rivera and learned all of their songs. He attended every concert and show. On one occasion, Ruiz's mother asked Rivera to give her son an opportunity to sing in the band, but to no avail. However, as fate would have it, in 1977, Ruiz was present at one of their shows where the lead singer did not show up. Rivera felt that he had no other choice but to give Ruiz a try. He was a success and was hired by Rivera. With La Solucion, Ruiz re-recorded a new version of Salsa Buena. He performed with the band for three years and recorded his first hit single La Rueda.
In 1980, Ruiz joined Tommy Olivencia and his Primerisima Orchestra. His youth and style known as Sensual Salsa helped to bring in a new generation of salsa followers. His first major hit was with the song, Lo Dudo, which was previously recorded by José José. In 1983, Ruiz decided to go solo and had hits with Puerto Rico, Tú Con El, Mirandote, Desnudate Mujer, Deseandote, La Cura, Bailando, Mi Libertad and many more. He traveled extensively throughout Latin America, Europe and the United States performing and always used the phrases "Vaya, Mi China" (Go, My Baby)- China was his wife Judith Ruiz and mother of his daughter Cristina Ruiz and son Frankie Ruiz Jr. -, and "¿Que que?" (What, What?) as his trademarks. He was then called "El Papa de la Salsa" (The Father of Salsa).
Later years and death
Ruiz began to use illegal drugs and became an alcoholic. During a flight after one of his concerts he attacked a flight attendant. He was arrested and sentenced to three years at the federal prison in Jacksonville, Texas for the incident. Ruiz's last song was "Vuelvo a Nacer", where he describes his errors in life by taking the wrong way and that he declares himself born again. His voice was heard raspy compared to his earlier career due to the effects of his drug use. Frankie Ruiz became ill and was hospitalized on July 11, 1998, after performing at Madison Square Garden in New York City. On August 9, 1998, Frankie eventually died from Liver failure at the age of 40, a month after his final concert at Madison Square Garden . Before his burial, his remains were taken to Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, for a memorial service. He was later interred at Fair Lawn Memorial Cemetery in Bergen County, New Jersey.
The city government of Mayagüez later renamed an auditorium next to the "Palacio de Recreación y Deportes" in Ruiz's honor. He is survived by his son, Frankie Ruiz Jr, his two brothers, Viti and Nelson Ruiz, and his wife.
|You may listen to a mix of various songs by Frankie Ruiz here.|
With Orquesta La Solucion
- La Rueda
- Separemos Nuestras Vidas
- La Vecina
With Tommy Olivencia y su Orquesta
- Primero Fui Yo
- Lo Dudo
- Como Lo Hacen
- Cosa Nativas
- No Que No
- Como una Estrella
|* Solista Pero No Solo (1985)||* Voy Pa' Encima (1987)||* En Vivo y... a Todo Color..! (1988)|
|* Mas Grande Que Nunca (1989)||* Mi Libertad (1992)||* Puerto Rico Soy Tuyo (1993)|
|* Mirándote (1994)||* Tranquilo (1996)||* Nacimientos y Recuerdos (1998)|
Puerto Rican singer Jerry Rivera, who met Ruiz when he was 13 years old and whom he considered his idol, recorded an album titled Canto a mi Idolo...Frankie Ruiz in 2003 with Ruiz's songs as a tribute to Frankie Ruiz. The album cover contains a photo of Rivera and Ruiz that Rivera's father took of them. In 2004, another album tribute to Frankie Ruiz was released featuring various artists. The album was titled Va Por Ti, Frankie. Frankie Ruiz Jr is following his fathers footsteps as a Salsa Singer. He has released 3 singles. -La Despedida (urban) -Provocadora (urban) -Vete ya (salsa).
- Popular Culture
- Unofficial Site - Biography, Discography, Lyrics
- Frankie's Grave at Find A Grave
- Frankie Ruiz - Fan Site