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Tejano Music Icon Johnny Canales Dies At 77

The musician and television host was widely cited as a catalyst in Selena’s career.

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Johnny Canales - Photo: John Parra/WireImage for Polaroid
Johnny Canales - Photo: John Parra/WireImage for Polaroid

Tejano music sensation Johnny Canales has died at 77. In a statement posted to their official joint Facebook page, Canales’ wife Nora Canales announced her husband’s death on Thursday, June 13.

“He was more than just a beloved husband, father, TV host, musician, and entertainer; he was a beacon of hope and joy for countless people,” the statement read. “His infectious charisma and dedication to promoting Latino music and culture left a large mark on the world.”

The post continued: “Johnny’s spirit will continue to live on through the countless lives he touched and the legacy he built.”

Nora also thanked the family’s fans and supporters for their “kind words, love, and support during this difficult time.”

His TV program, The Johnny Canales Show was an important platform for regional Mexican music artists, including Los Tigres del Norte, Los Relámpagos del Norte and Intocable, and was the prime starting point for the launch of Selena’s career.

“You got it, take it away” was one of the most famous phrases Canales used in his broadcasts to encourage artists in their nascent careers.

Born in Nuevo Leon, Mexico, Canales moved to the Corpus Christi, Texas, area when he was still a small boy. As a child, he developed a fervent passion for music, and as he continued to grow, he began to see a future in television, too.

From 1988 to 1996, his program was broadcast on the Univision network, which allowed him to reach thousands of Mexicans living in the United States. In 1997 he joined Telemundo, where he remained for several years, and later, his own show would be broadcast through their networks.

The syndicated The Johnny Canales Show ended in 2005, according to the Corpus Christi Caller Times. Canales brought back the show with his wife in 2013 for a time as El nuevo Show de Johnny y Nora Canales and the couple remained active on social media.

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