Mexican singer Jose Jose honored at farewell viewing


Miami (AFP)

Family, celebrities and fans of Jose Jose bid farewell to the legendary Mexican singer Friday, after his children settled days of drama over the mysterious location of his corpse.

The artist born Jose Romulo Sosa Ortiz, who died last Saturday at age 71, was honored at a funeral home southeast of Miami, Florida.

Well-wishers were met with heavy security measures including crowd control barriers at the entrance of the building, where they could say goodbye to Jose Jose's embalmed body.

Organizers had not yet revealed details of a tribute ceremony to take place later in the afternoon to the "Prince of Song," a larger-than-life figure akin to Elvis in Latin America.

The Spanish-language channel Univision said his eldest children, Jose Joel and Marysol Sosa, who reside in Mexico, would attend the services.

The Telemundo channel meanwhile said Latin American artists including Jose Luis "El Puma" Rodriguez, Ricardo Montaner and Olga Tanon would also be present.

The singer's death set 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.

Sara Sosa, the 25-year-old daughter from Jose Jose's third marriage, allegedly would not respond to calls after her father's death, the elder siblings said.

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

Jose Jose was to be given a funeral Friday in Miami, after which 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.

The Latin icon'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.

With his velvety voice and songs of heartbreak, Jose Jose sold more than 120 million albums in a career spanning over five decades.