MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – Filipino singer Rico J Puno has died at 65, his family said on Tuesday, October 30.
Anna Puno, whom reports identified as Puno's sister-in-law, confirmed the news on Instagram.
"I am seized with deep emotional shock when I found out that our OPM King – Kuya Rico J. Puno, has passed away this morning (Manila time)," Anna wrote. (LOOK BACK: Rico J's greatest hits)
View this post on Instagram I am seized with deep emotional shock when I found out that our OPM King - Kuya Rico J. Puno has passed away this morning (manila time). Numbed with grief, I would like to call on all entertainers in the OPM Industry as well as his worldwide fans to stop for a moment and say a prayer to one of the most respected singers in the country. I cannot help but say it was serendipitous that Starmedia prepared a solo 40th Anniversary concert for him and a US tour with the OPM stalwarts and colleagues just recently. Little did I know that this is his Final Bow in the live entertainment world. We will forever miss the TOTAL ENTERTAINER...but his songs will forever cherish in our hearts. A post shared by Anna Puno (@annapuno) on Oct 29, 2018 at 1:13pm PDT
She added: "Numbed with grief, I would like to call on all entertainers in the OPM industry as well as his worldwide fans to stop for a moment and say a prayer to one of the most respected singers in the country."
His manager Norma Japitana said in an interview on DZBB Super Radyo that Puno died of cardiac failure early morning on October 30.
Puno has faced many major health issues in recent years. He underwent triple heart bypass in 2015, and had an angioplasty in December 2017, after which, he received a pacemaker.
He was recently hospitalized for diabetes complications in early October 2018.
Lea Salonga wrote: "Rest In Peace, Rico J. Puno. Your distinctive voice that lent itself to so much of the music of my childhood will not be forgotten."
Rest In Peace, Rico J. Puno. Your distinctive voice that lent itself to so much of the music of my childhood will not be forgotten. To Tito Rico’s family, my deepest condolences. — Lea Salonga (@MsLeaSalonga) October 29, 2018
Zsa Zsa Padilla said: "RIP Rico Puno. Shocked to hear about your sudden passing. We will always remember your beautiful songs and your unique way of interpreting them."
R.I.P. Rico Puno. Shocked to hear about your sudden passing. We will always remember your beautiful songs and your unique way of interpreting them. — zsa zsa padilla (@zsazsapadilla) October 29, 2018
Gary Valenciano and Martin Nievera also posted on Instagram:
View this post on Instagram Rest in His peace kapitan. I’m in total shock at this news. A post shared by Gary Valenciano (@garyvalenciano) on Oct 29, 2018 at 3:58pm PDT View this post on Instagram #ricojpuno we will miss you! Now that you are in heaven, behave! We love you! @starmediaentertainment A post shared by martinnievera (@martinnievera) on Oct 29, 2018 at 3:03pm PDT
Makati Mayor Abigail "Abby" Binay sent her condolences to the Puno family and paid a short tribute to the entertainer turned politician.
“We deeply mourn the passing of City Councilor Rico Puno. On behalf of the city government and the people of Makati, I wish to express our heartfelt condolences to his bereaved family,” Binay
"He not only soothed the soul with his timeless music but also lifted up the spirit with his effortless humor,” she added.
Binay described also Puno as “a public servant who dedicated over a decade of his life looking out for the welfare of residents and promoting the city’s economic development.” – Rappler.com