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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


A definitive biography of Hector Lavoe's rise from Puerto Rico to stardom in New York that led to sold-out concerts and best-selling salsa albums, yet gave way to drug addiction, a strained marriage and tragedy.

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.

Marc Shapiro's Passion and Pain is "A no-holds barred biography" (Uptown Magazine) of a fascinating life.


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 is the New York Times bestselling author of J.K. Rowling: The Wizard behind Harry Potter, Justin Bieber: The Fever! and many other bestselling celebrity biographies. He has been a freelance entertainment journalist for more than twenty-five years, covering film, television and music for a number of national and international newspapers and magazines.

image of Marc Shapiroo
©Nancy Shapiro

St. Martin's Griffin

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