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Published on June 13, 2024
Tejano Music Icon Johnny Canales Dies at 77, Remembered For Championing Latino Artists and CultureSource: Facebook/El Show de Johnny y Nora Canales

The Tejano music scene took a significant loss with the passing of Johnny Canales, who died at the age of 77. Known for his catchphrase "You got it! Take it away!" Canales was a beloved figure and a catalyst for Tejano music and artists. His wife, Nora Canales, confirmed his passing just before midnight on Wednesday, and "El Show de Johnny and Nora Canales" posted the news on their Facebook page the following morning, according to 3NEWS.

Hosting his Tejano variety show starting in 1983, Canales became a household name, promoting Latino music and culture. Sadly, after suffering a major stroke in 2008, his health became an ongoing battle. Though stricken with health issues, he and his wife revived their presence on television with "El Show de Johnny and Nora Canales" in 2014, continuing his passion for showcasing talent.

Canales, whose career began at a Spanish-language radio station after serving in the Army in Germany, spent years nurturing and helping launch the careers of many Tejano stars. Selena Quintanilla, for instance, debuted on "The Johnny Canales Show" at the tender age of 13. "With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of Johnny Canales," read a post from the family's Facebook page. "He was a beacon of hope and joy for countless people," said the post obtained by KSAT.

His show, which began as a regional half-hour segment and grew to international prominence through syndication on Univision and later, Telemundo, provided a platform that was instrumental in the growth of the genre. While primarily Spanish-speaking, the charming Canales connected with audiences across linguistic barriers, boosting the careers of artists like Selena y Los Dinos and Little Joe. Mourned by fans, his legacy is felt within both the local and international music community.

The impact of Canales' work was acknowledged beyond his broadcasts, as he was formally inducted on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars in 2016. As tributes pour in, the family thanked supporters for their kindness during Canales' health struggles and asked to "remember him not with sadness, but with the joy and passion he always brought into our lives," as they mentioned in their Facebook statement.

Details regarding a public memorial service for the iconic host have yet to be announced. Canales' influence on Tejano music and culture will undoubtedly remain a touchstone for generations to come.