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

Tejano music legend Johnny Canales – who helped singer Selena Quintanilla break in the mainstream – has died aged 76.

The star’s wife Nora announced his death on social media on Thursday – and paid tribute to Canales’ ‘infectious charisma’ and ‘dedication to promoting Latino music.’

The post read: ‘With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of Johnny Canales.

‘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. 

‘His infectious charisma and dedication to promoting Latino music and culture left a large mark on the world. 

Tejano music legend Johnny Canales – who helped singer Selena Quintanilla break in the mainstream – has died aged 76 (pictured 2005)

The singer and host of the The Johnny Canales Show - which debuted in 1983 - was credited with breaking Selena into the music scene - with one of the future star's first live performances on his show aged 13 in 1985 - pictured together in 1994

The singer and host of the The Johnny Canales Show – which debuted in 1983 – was credited with breaking Selena into the music scene – with one of the future star’s first live performances on his show aged 13 in 1985 – pictured together in 1994

‘Johnny’s spirit will continue to live on through the countless lives he touched and the legacy he built.

‘We thank you all for your kind words, love, and support during this difficult time. Please keep our family in your thoughts and prayers. Remember him not with sadness, but with the joy and passion he always brought into our lives.’

The singer and host of the The Johnny Canales Show – which debuted in 1983 – was credited with breaking Selena into the music scene – with one of the future star’s first live performances on his show aged 13 in 1985. 

His program showcased emerging bands from Mexico and the United States which included La Sombra de Chicago, Nancy, La Mafia, Mazz, Intocable, and Grupo Pegasso De Emilio Reyna.

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

Nora has previously revealed Johnny had been battling health challenges since suffering a stroke in 2008. 

The star is survived by wife Nora (in green) and daughters Zelestial and Miroslava

The star is survived by wife Nora (in green) and daughters Zelestial and Miroslava

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