Johnny Canales, Tejano icon who introduced Selena to mainstream audiences, dies at 77

MIAMI - APRIL 28:  Johnny Canales poses backstage at 2005 Billboard Latin Music Awards at the Miami Arena April 28, 2005 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)

Tejano music legend Johnny Canales has died at the age of 77.

Canales’ wife, Nora, announced his death on the El Show de Johnny y Nora Canales Facebook page, KRIS reported. A cause of death was not provided, according to KNBC. KSAT reported that over the past few weeks, Canales had addressed claims that he was ill.

“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,” according to the social media post announcing his death. “His infectious charisma and dedication to promoting Latino music and culture left a large mark on the world. Johnny’s spirit will continue to live on through the countless lives he touched and the legacy he built.”

Canales was known for “The Jonny Canales Show,” which debuted in 1983, KRIS reported. The show later became known as “El Show de Johnny y Nora Canales.”

It was a variety show filled with Tejano music, KSAT reported. Its catchphrase was, “You got it, take it away.”

One of the artists that came on the show was Selena Quintanilla, who was performing as Selena y Los Dinos in 1985, according to KSAT. The group was a repeat guest on the show over the years, USA Today reported. Canales is known for making Selena’s music popular, according to KVIA.

At one point, the show was seen in 23 countries, USA Today reported.

Canales also had a band called “Johnny Canales y su Orchestra,” according to KSAT.

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