Updated Oct 30, 2018, 8:49:14 AM
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 30) — OPM icon Rico J. Puno passed away early Tuesday morning due to heart failure, his family confirmed. He was 65.
His sister-in-law Anna Puno told CNN Philippines the singer, coming fresh from an event, checked himself in St. Luke's Medical Center in Taguig on Monday after he started having difficulty breathing.
"When he was in the hospital, they didn't let him go. He went straight to the ICU. He was revived at first, then he was okay. When everybody left, he had a heart failure. They were trying to revive him for the second time, but he didn't make it," she said.
She said his health started deteriorating in April. In 2015, he had an open heart surgery after suffering a heart attack. In December 2017, he underwent angioplasty to restore his blocked arteries. Months later, he received a pacemaker to help his heart.
Despite his many health challenges, his sister-in-law said she was shocked to hear about his death. He was slated to perform at the Music and Laughter series on November 23.
"A month ago, we talked and he was very excited. He was very healthy and I was so surprised when I received a call today that he passed away," she said.
Puno, who started his music career in the mid '70s, was the voice behind iconic songs "Macho Gwapito," "May Bukas Pa," and "Magkasuyo Buong Gabi."
Aside from the music scene, he also delved into acting and politics.
Broadway star Lea Salonga said she will never forget his distinctive voice.
Singer Zsa Zsa Padilla said his way of entertaining is unique and that will always be remembered by Filipinos.