Spain’s DJ Padilla, icon of chillout music, dies at 64

Born in Barcelona in 1955, Jose Padilla moved to Ibiza when he was 20 and began working as a DJ in a years-long career which ultimately saw him nominated for a Latin Grammy. — Picture from Facebook/Jose Padilla
Born in Barcelona in 1955, Jose Padilla moved to Ibiza when he was 20 and began working as a DJ in a years-long career which ultimately saw him nominated for a Latin Grammy. — Picture from Facebook/Jose Padilla

BARCELONA, Oct 20 — Spanish DJ Jose Padilla, who became famous for pairing relaxed music with sunset views on the holiday island of Ibiza, has died of cancer. He was 64.

“It is with great sadness that we bring you the news that Jose passed away peacefully in his sleep on Sunday night here on his beloved island of Ibiza,” said a message published on his Facebook page late yesterday.

Born in Barcelona in 1955, he moved to Ibiza when he was 20 and began working as a DJ in a years-long career which ultimately saw him nominated for a Latin Grammy.

He shot to fame in the 1990s when he became the resident DJ at the Cafe del Mar bar in San Antoni de Portmany, which is known for its sweeping sunset views of the Mediterranean.

It was there that he made a name for himself with his compilations of “chillout” music, drawing hoards of partygoers to the bar and spawning albums that sold around the world.

“Jose Padilla chilled a generation of clubbers and his art touched the lives of millions. He will always be remembered as the Godfather of Chillout,” the Cafe del Mar tweeted.

Padilla went public with his colon cancer diagnosis in a tweet in July and underwent surgery the following month.

In his last few messages, he asked fans for help due to the impact of the pandemic, saying he had “no income whatsoever and no way to pay my rent”. — AFP

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