Johnny Canales dies at 76: Tejano music legend who helped Selena Quintanilla break into the mainstream passes away

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Johnny Canales, the Tejano music legend who helped singer Selena Quintanilla break into the mainstream, has died at the age of 76.

The star’s wife, Nora, announced his death on social media on Thursday, paying tribute to Canales’ “magnetic charisma” and “dedication to promoting Latin music.”

The post read: “It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Johnny Canales.”

“He was more than just a beloved husband, father, television host, musician and entertainer; he was a beacon of hope and joy to countless people.”

“His infectious charisma and dedication to promoting Latin music and culture made a profound impact on the world.

Tejano music legend Johnny Canales dies at age 76. He helped singer Selena Quintanilla break into the mainstream (pictured here in 2005)

Tejano music legend Johnny Canales dies at age 76. He helped singer Selena Quintanilla break into the mainstream. (Pictured here in 2005)

The singer and host of

The singer and host of “The Johnny Canales Show,” which debuted in 1983, is credited with introducing Selena to the music industry. In 1985, at age 13, Selena gave her first live performance on his show, and a photo of them together in 1994 featured the future star.

“Johnny’s spirit will live on through the countless lives he touched and the legacy he created.”

“Thank you for the kind words, love and support you have shown us during this difficult time. Please keep our family in your thoughts and prayers. Remember him not for sadness, but for the joy and passion he always brought to our lives.”

The singer and host of “The Johnny Canales Show,” which debuted in 1983, is credited with introducing the future star to the music industry when she delivered her first live performance on his show in 1985 at the age of 13.

His program featured emerging bands from Mexico and the United States, including The Shadows of Chicago, Nancy, The Mafia, Mazz, The Untouchables and Emilio Reyna’s Pegasso group.

He is survived by his wife, Nora, and daughters Zelestial and Miroslava.

Nora previously revealed that Johnny had been battling health problems since suffering a stroke in 2008.

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