R.I.P. Trini Lopez
The singer/guitarist/actor was 83 years old
The New York Times has confirmed that the artist passed away at the Desert Reginal Medical Center in Palm Springs after contracting COVID-19. A lifelong bachelor, Lopez leaves behind no children or spouse.
Born on May 13, 1937, in Dallas, Lopez was the son of Mexican immigrants and lived in the city's Little Mexico area for many years. Throughout his career, he remained proud of his Mexican heritage, busking on street corners in his youth, performing Mexican traditional songs like "La Bamba."
Lopez began his professional career in the early '60s, performing as a resident at a West Hollywood nightclub called PJ's. There, he was discovered and signed to Reprise Records. His debut album, Trini Lopez at PJ's, was released in 1963 and quickly rose to the No. 2 spot on the Billboard 200, where it remained for six weeks.
Lopez would go on to record dozens of albums during his storied career. His 65th and final album, Into the Future, was released in 2011 via Trilo Records. Lopez remained an active performer in the years leading up to his death.
He also worked on several movies in the '60s and '70s, appearing in dramatic roles and as himself. Some such titles include Marriage on the Rocks, The Dirty Dozen, The Phynx, Antonio, and several television programs.
Lopez is also known for collaborating with Gibson Guitars on the Trini Lopez signature guitar, one of which is owned by Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl.
In a tribute posted earlier today, Grohl wrote: "Trini not only left a beautiful musical legacy of his own, but also unknowingly helped shape the sound of the Foo Fighters from day one."
He continued: "Every album we have ever made, from the first to the latest, was recorded with my red 1967 Trini Lopez signature guitar. It is the sound of our band, and my most prized possession from the day I bought it in 1992. Thank you, Trini for all of your contributions."
Listen to Lopez's "If I Had a Hammer" below, where you can also find Grohl's tribute.
Every album we have ever made, from the first to the latest, was recorded with my red 1967 Trini Lopez signature guitar. It is the sound of our band, and my most prized possession from the day I bought it in 1992. Thank you, Trini for all of your contributions. (2/3)— Foo Fighters (@foofighters) August 11, 2020