The Music of ‘El Dany’ Sounds in the Streets of Havana as a Farewell to the Reggaetoner

Daniel Muñoz Borrego, popularly known as ‘El Dany’. (Screen capture)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 18 July 2020 —  A few hours after the burial of the popular reggaetoner El Dany, hundreds of young people gathered on Saturday night on the corner of San José and San Francisco in the neighborhood of Cayo Hueso, Central Havana, to pay tribute to the musician, who died the previous morning. His songs played through dozens of portable speakers all night.

Daniel Muñoz Borrego, popularly known as El Dany, died at the Calixto García hospital in Havana, at just 31. The cause of death has not been specified, but 14ymedio was told by some medical sources that he suffered cardiac arrest after being hospitalized and undergoing treatment at the hospital for several days for presenting inflammation and pain in his legs.

As the hours pass, speculation about the cause of the reggaetoner’s  has flooded social networks in the absence of an official version. State media blamed the death on an “acute cardiovascular condition,” while other voices pointed to kidney problems, a possible drug rejection, and even Covid-19.

A hospital medical source explained to this newspaper that the cause of death was “acute myocardial infarction and at that age, it is unlikely to be atherosclerosis, the most frequent cause in adults.” According to the doctor, possible reasons for heart failure include: a “coronary spasm, in the arteries that bring blood to the heart induced by a substance or thrombopathy, derived from a disease that causes the blood to clot more easily.”

After the news of his death spread, dozens of people approached the vicinity of the Calixto García Hospital Emergency Room to pay tribute to the musician. The burial took place shortly after, around 2 pm, in the Havana Cristóbal Colón Cemetery but many followers of El Dany were unable to attend, given the speed with which the burial took place, a rush that has surprised many and upset some of his audience.

However, despite the short time between death and funeral, dozens of people managed to reach the main cemetery in the Cuban capital to accompany the family. Several videos of the moment, show great dismay and disbelief at the death of a young man who a few hours earlier was still sharing messages on social networks.

“Cuban urban music lost one of its main exponents with the death of the singer El Dany, of the duo Yomil y el Dany,” lamented music critic Michel Hernández on his Facebook account after hearing the news of the singer’s death. “This performer left popular neighborhoods to impose a musical style that, although it was criticized and censored at the beginning, gained enormous popularity among a wide sector of Cuban society, especially among young people,” he added.

Along with Roberto Hidalgo Puentes, Yomil, El Dany formed a group that for years was the most listened to reggaeton players in Cuba. Previously known for being part of projects such as Los 4 and Jacob Forever, respectively, both young people joined a group that did not stop gaining fame in the discotheques, the private parties and the music section of the weekly packet.

The popularity of Yomil and El Dany has been due in part to the fusion of electronic rhythms between which hip hop appears, and the most Cuban of  cadences, all that mixed with the catchy reggaeton. His album, Sobredosis, reached first place in the sales of Google Play in 2016, in the Top Albums of Latin Music, while his musical track Tengo was ranked eight in the Top World Albums on the app.

The reggaetoner Yoandys Lores González, Baby Lores, published an emotional farewell message on social networks after learning of the death of El Dany. “I think it’s a lie. And to think that we talked a few days ago and recorded a beautiful song… Your music will live forever and we will never forget you.”

“In recent years, El Dany and Yomil have expanded their range of influences and have managed to reach the media in Cuba and present themselves internationally,” Michel Hernández stressed on Saturday. “The duo was very prolific on record and had an important influence on urban music and on the rest of the groups in this scene that have emerged in Cuba.”


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