|Birth name||Jose Antonio Torresola Ruiz|
|Also known as||El Papá de la Salsa |
March 10, 1958|
Paterson, New Jersey, USA
|Died||August 9, 1998
Newark, New Jersey, USA
|Associated acts||Orquesta La Solución, Tommy Olivencia|
Frankie Ruiz (March 10, 1958 – August 9, 1998) was a Puerto Rican Salsa singer. Ruiz was a salsero in the "Salsa Romantica" genre that was popular in the 1980s and early 1990s. At the end of his life, Ruiz received treatment for his AIDS infection. Complications arising from the disease eventually took his life.
Ruiz (birth name: Jose Antonio Torresola Ruiz [note 1]) was born in Paterson, New Jersey to Puerto Rican parents who had moved from Puerto Rico to New Jersey. 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 1974, 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 various concerts and shows. On one occasion, Ruiz's mother asked Rivera to give her son an opportunity to sing in the band, but to no avail. However, 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 then 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 1982, Ruiz joined Tommy Olivencia and his Primerisima Orchestra. His style 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 1985, Ruiz decided to go solo with his debut album "Solista pero no Solo" which included the major hits "Tu Con El" and "La Cura." He traveled throughout Latin America, Europe and the United States. While still young and in his 30's he would later become known as "El Papa de la Salsa" (The Father of Salsa). Some of his other major hits include: "La Rueda" Tu Con El" " La Cura" "Desnudate Mujer" "Quiero Llenarte" "Deseandote" "Tu Eres" "Mi Libertad" "Bailando" "Puerto Rico" "Mirandote" "Ironia" and many more.
Later years and death
At a young age Ruiz began to use drugs and became an alcoholic. Ruiz later in life explained that the death of his young mother whom he was very close to in 1978 was a major reason for his drug and alcohol abuse. In 1989 during a flight after one of his concerts he was drunk and attacked a flight attendant. He was arrested and sentenced to three years at the federal prison in Tallahassee, Florida for the incident. Shortly after his prison sentence in 1989 his recording label Rodven records released one of his best albums "Mas Grande Que Nunca." which contained arguably his most popular song "Deseandote." After his release his fans were eager for him to get back to music and he was determined to prove to everybody that he was a new man. He released his most popular album "Mi Libertad" (My Freedom) He continued to tour around the country and South America but soon began to abuse drugs and alcohol once again. His final album "Tranquilo" was released in 1996 after this Ruiz would begin to suffer from health problems. In 1998, he recorded his last song "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 and alcohol abuse, also due to medical procedures which required that a tube be inserted inside his throat; therefore damaging some vocal cords. Ruiz became ill and was hospitalized on July 11, 1998, after performing at Madison Square Garden in New York City. On August 9, 1998, Ruiz died from "complications form AIDS [(in this case 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 Fairlawn, New Jersey. A town near Paterson, NJ.
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 on YouTube.|
With Orquesta La Solucion
- La Rueda
- Salsa Buena
- Separemos Nuestras Vidas
- La Vecina
- La Cabra y la Soga
- Chiquito Corazoncito
With Tommy Olivencia y su Orquesta
- Primero Fui Yo
- Lo Dudo
- Como Lo Hacen
- Cosa Nativas
- No Que No
- Como una Estrella
- Fantasia de un Carpintero
- La Suplicante
- Mujeres Como Tu
|* 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. - Dime (salsa) -Eres Tu (salsa) -Vete ya (salsa).
- Salsa Music
- latinoaids.org: Latinos and the HIV Epidemic. Quote: "Puerto Rican salsa singer and composer Frankie Ruiz dies of AIDS"
- Myspace.com: Biography. Quote: "On August 9, 1998, Salsa lost one of its greatest singers, Frankie Ruiz, to liver failure, which according to various resources, resulted from complications of the AIDS virus."
- "A Tribute to Frankie Ruiz". salsacentro.com. August 1993. Retrieved 2006-07-28.
- Frankie Ruiz
- Puerto Rico is PuertoRicans.Com, Puerto Rico online
- Popular Culture
- Unofficial Site - Biography, Discography, Lyrics
- Frankie's Grave at Find A Grave
- Frankie Ruiz - Fan Site