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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Passion and Pain

Passion and Pain

The Life of Hector Lavoe

Marc Shapiro

St. Martin's Griffin


From the poverty-stricken streets of Ponce, Puerto Rico to the vibrant barrios of New York City, HECTOR LAVOE became the singer of all singers, and the driving-force behind the Salsa movement in the mid-1960s. His popularity rivaled that of his contemporaries, Tito Puente, Celia Cruz and Johnny Pacheco.

Behind the music, Hector's life was filled with drugs, alcohol and women. An endless stream of tragedy plagued him including: a gun-related accident that killed his son, Hector's ninth floor jump from a hotel window and his death in 1993 from AIDS.

But Hector's pristine voice, one-of-a-kind stage performances, sold-out concerts and bestselling albums were what his fans remember most and what made him an international icon. His music brought joy to legions of people, and it continues today.


Chasing the



Larry Harlow does not go to too many funerals.

The veteran producer-musician gets emotional at funerals. He cries at funerals. But Harlow had been a good friend of Hector Lavoe's,...

Praise for Passion and Pain

“Marc Shapiro's Passion and Pain is a matter-of-fact recount o f Lavoe's musical glory and tragic life devoid of sensational revelation to make it more sellable.” —NY Daily News

“A no-holds barred biography...” —Uptown Magazine


Reviews from Goodreads

Marc Shapiro

Marc Shapiro has written over a dozen works of nonfiction on popular bands including Carlos Santana: Back on Top, Behind Sad Eyes: The Life of George Harrison, Creed: From Zero to platinum, and The Story of Eagles: The Long Run. He is also a rock journalist who has written for The Los Angeles Free Press, Words and Music, Hit Parade, Bam Magazine, Rock and Soul, Word Up, Faces, Gig and Creem.

image of Marc Shapiroo
©Nancy Shapiro

St. Martin's Griffin

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