Marc Anthony honored Mexican singer Juan Gabriel with an emotional performance of the late icon’s song “Abrázame Muy Fuerte” during his concert at Radio City Music Hall Sunday night.
Anthony’s heartfelt rendition came hours after news that the 66-year-old music legend had died.
The 47-year-old salsa singer, who has credited his career to Juan Gabriel, became emotional, wiping tears from his eyes, as he performed in front of a large projected photo of the singer with his arms spread open.
Concert goers shared videos of Anthony’s emotional performance on social media.
Juan Gabriel, whose given name was Alberto Aguilera Valadez, died Sunday morning of a heart attack in Santa Monica, California.
Ahead of his emotional homage, Anthony, who re-recorded Juan Gabriel’s single “Yo Te Recuerdo” as a duet, shared his grief with his fans on social media.
“Today the world of Latin music lost a giant, an icon and a legend who marked my life forever,” he wrote on Instagram in a caption of a still taken from the pair’s “Yo Te Recuerdo” music video.
He also tweeted a few lyrics from the song.
Earlier this month, Anthony told Billboard.com never imagined he would sing salsa, but that all changed when he listened to Juan Gabriel’s song “Hasta Que Te Conocí” for the first time.
“But when I heard this song, I swear I saw lights, I saw clarity. I knew the song was going to change my life,” explained Anthony, who was recording freestyle music at the time. “I called my manager at the time and he said, ‘That’s Juan Gabriel’s song. But, what if you do a salsa version?’ That was it. I never recorded freestyle again.”
Anthony capped off the night by sharing a touching photo taken during his stirring performance on Instagram. In it, he asked his “dear brother” to “watch over us from where you are.”