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Al Hurricane passes away at 81

The singer was known as the "Godfather of New Mexico Music"
Oct 23, 2017 – 1:59 PM EDT

The music world has lost yet another icon this year.

Al Hurricane, also known as the "The Godfather of New Mexico Music," passed away on Sunday, October 22 after a hard fought battle with stage 4 prostate cancer.

Hurricane was born on July 10, 1936 in Dixon, New Mexico. After learning to play the guitar, he launched his music career by singing in venues throughtout the Albuquerque area, eventually creating his band "Al Hurricane & The Night Rockers" in 1962 and releasing his first songs "Lobo" and "Racer."

His music and influence were certainly apparent. Years after he released his song, "Sentimiento," up-and-coming artist Selena Quintanilla released a cover of the track.

Aside from his signature corridos and his unique tejano music style, Hurricane was also known for his signature eye patch. The eyepatch came as a result of an incident that occured in 1969. Hurricane and his five band members were reportedly driving in Colorado when their car skidded over an icy bridge and flipped multiple times. A piece of glass struck Hurricane's right eye, causing him to lose it permanently.

Hurricane's impact on New Mexico and the music industry will always be remembered. Back in May, the Albuquerque city council renamed the city's Civic Plaza Pavillion after him. Despite his illness, he was on site to receive the honor.

“I don’t know how much longer I will be around, but I love the city of Albuquerque, and the state of New Mexico. We pushed our music into Spain, Argentina, Mexico, and they accepted us, but this is a big honor,” he said addressing the crowd.

The day after the news of his death was announced, fans and friends gathered at the plaza to pay their respects.

No funeral arrangements have been finalized at this point. He leaves behind seven children.

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