Diomedes Díaz

Commonly known as “El Cacique de La Junta,” Diomedes Díaz (born on May 26, 1957) was a hugely successful Colombian singer-songwriter who helped popularize vallenato music in his native country. Díaz’s music career traced back to his teenage years, working odd jobs and writing songs for other artists, most notably the hits “La negra” and “Cariñito de mi vida” in the early 70s. Even though it didn’t sell as expected, Herencia Vallenata (1975), his studio debut, marked Díaz’s debut as a singer and helped get his name out there. His breakthrough wouldn’t happen until 1978, when he released La Locura, an album in collaboration with accordionist Juancho Rois that is considered by many as one of his finest efforts. During the following decade, his fruitful collaborations with accordionists Nicolás “Colacho” Mendoza and Gonzalo “Cocha” Molina garnered him many awards and accolades, including a golden album certification for his 1985 album, Vallenato. Díaz teamed up with Rois once more for Título de amor (1993) and 26 de mayo (1994), both of which were certified gold and helped cement the duo’s popularity at an international level with a sold-out show at Madison Square Garden. Their partnership abruptly came to an end after Rois’ death in an airplane accident. Following a series of legal troubles and an eventual incarceration, Díaz won a Latin Grammy for Best Cumbia/Vallenato Album in 2010 for Listo pa’ la foto, a collaboration with accordionist Álvaro López. A month after finishing the recording process of Entre Díaz y canciones in 2013, Díaz suffered a heart attack that ended his life at the age of 56.

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