Dominican Merengue Legend Johnny Ventura Dies After Sudden Heart Attack

The popular singer and former Santo Domingo mayor passed away at 81 years old on Wednesday, July 28 after he felt a 'sudden onset chest pain, with subsequent collapse.'

AceShowbiz - Dominican merengue legend Johnny Ventura has passed away after a sudden heart attack. The singer/songwriter died Wednesday, July 28 at the Medical Union Clinic in the northern city of Santiago, in the Dominican Republic, according to his son. He was 81 years old.

Johnny was having lunch when he felt a "sudden onset chest pain, with subsequent collapse," a statement from the clinic said. He was taken to the clinic and arrived at the medical center at 2:25 P.M. ET in the company of his chauffeur.

Upon the singer's arrival, "immediate advanced cardiopulmonary resuscitation maneuvers (were performed) for 45 minutes, during which time he never had a response," the statement details. He was declared dead at 3:12 P.M. ET.

The statement goes on mentioning four possible causes of death, which were sudden death, probable myocardial infarction, hypertensive heart disease and ischemic heart disease.

Johnny's son Jandy Ventura has spoken up on his father's passing. "My Dad died working. He was at a work meeting and from there he was going to record a song," he said during a news conference. He added, "The Ventura family is proud of all the legacy my dad left. We have our heads held high. We are not ashamed of anything that he could have done. (I want) to tell the Dominican Republic and the world, that they lost the greatest exponent of the Dominican Republic's music."

Johnny was one of the most beloved artists in the Dominican Republic, and his songs were part of the repertoire of other great Latin American artists. Following his passing, three days of mourning were decreed in the country. The island's flag is to be flown at half-staff and military honors are to be performed by the Ministry of Defense.

Additionally, Johnny's family has planned a series of funeral events to remember the late star set to take place from Thursday, July 29 until Saturday, July 31.

Due to his contribution to the music scene, particularly in the country, Johnny has earned the nicknames The Father of Modern Merengue, La Alegria del Pais, El Merenguero del Siglo, The Living Legend of Merengue, The National Industry of La Alegria, El Caballo Mayor, El Senor del Merengue or The Son of the East People. He also dabbled in politics, serving as mayor of Santo Domingo from 1998 to 2002.

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