Camilo Sesto, Spain’s Romantic Hitmaker, Is Dead at 72

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A dramatic lost-love song that he wrote, “Algo de Mi” (“Something of Me”) became Mr. Sesto’s first No. 1 hit in 1972, inaugurating a two-decade outpouring of hits, including “Algo Más” (“Something More”), “Perdóname” (“Forgive Me”), “¿Quieres Ser Mi Amante?” (“Do You Want to Be My Lover?”), “Donde Estés, Con Quién Estés” (“Wherever You Are, Whomever You’re With”) and “Amor Mío, ¿Qué Me Has Hecho?” (“My Love, What Have You Done to Me?”).

In 1975 he starred in a Spanish-language adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Jesus Christ Superstar” in Madrid, financing the production and playing the title role, bringing Broadway-style musical theater to Spain and demonstrating his abilities as both singer and actor. His touring circuit expanded to arenas worldwide, including a devoted following in Japan.

He never married. “A life like the one I have had, jumping from one place to another, cannot be endured by anyone, let alone a woman,” he told the Spanish newspaper El País in a 2018 interview. But in 1983 he had a son with the Mexican actress Lourdes Ornelas: Camilo Blanes Jr., who survives him.

Despite health problems, including a liver transplant in the early 2000s, Mr. Sesto had remained active. Last year he released a retrospective album, “Camilo Sinfónico,” which placed new, transformed orchestral arrangements behind vocals from his hits. Although he played a two-year farewell world tour from 2009 to 2011, he had scheduled a new United States tour in October.

Pedro Sánchez, the prime minister of Spain, wrote on Twitter that Mr. Sesto was “one of the most beloved and universal artists,” adding, “his melodies will always be part of our memory.”



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