Feuding children reach truce on funeral for Mexican superstar Jose Jose

Mexico City (AFP) –


After days of drama involving a missing corpse, a family feud and a soundtrack of heartbroken love songs, late Latin singing sensation Jose Jose's children have set aside their differences and agreed on plans for his funeral, the Mexican government said Wednesday.

"The Prince of Song," one of the most famous Mexican singers of all time, died Saturday in Miami at age 71, setting off a bitter battle between his youngest child and her two half-siblings, who accused her of hiding his body, seeking to get rich off his death and "putting on make-up" and "straightening her hair" amid the family's mourning.

But the Mexican foreign ministry, whose consulate in Miami brought the three siblings together Tuesday night to mediate the dispute, announced the family had reached an agreement.

Jose Jose will be given a funeral Friday in Miami, the ministry said in a statement. Then his body will be flown to Mexico City next week for a series of public tributes, tentatively including concerts at the capital's Palace of Fine Arts and National Auditorium.

"Jose Jose's family agreed to first pay tribute to him in Miami, and then again in Mexico City. The Mexican foreign ministry reiterated its willingness to help transport the remains, carry out the necessary legal procedures and organize the tribute," the statement said.

It did not say where he would ultimately be laid to rest.

Jose Jose's death unleashed an outpouring of emotion in Mexico, where fans belted out his hits through tears in public and flocked to mourn at a statue of him in his native Mexico City neighborhood.

But the tears had not even finished flowing when the loss took a telenovela-like turn.

Jose Joel and Marysol, his eldest children, accused their half-sister, Sarita, of hiding his body. They called for an autopsy, filed a police report, hired a lawyer and insisted they would not believe he was dead until they saw him with their own eyes.

A furious Jose Joel said Sarita, 25, was "after the money," and accused her of hiding their father's body as part of a plan to sell exclusive media rights to the funeral.

With his velvety voice and songs of heartbreak, Jose Romulo Sosa Ortiz -- better known by his stage name, Jose Jose -- sold more than 120 million albums in a career spanning over five decades.

He married three times, fathering Jose Joel and Marysol with his second wife and Sarita with his third.