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Where did Tito Puente come from, and what caused his untimely demise?

The next celebrity to be honoured with a Google Doodle is the late Tito Puente.

The life and legacy of the American “Nuyorican” singer and globally known performer are being celebrated with an animated movie on Google’s homepage during the month of September, which is Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States.

Puerto Rican artist Carlos Aponte of New York City drew the illustrations for Puente’s Doodle.

The artist grew up listening to Puente’s music in Puerto Rico, so he felt compelled to pay tribute to him. Tito Puente is a prominent Puerto Rican and New York City singer, and my aunt first exposed me to him via La Lupe.

As Celia Cruz attests, “Tito was like a Svengali for talents.” His name was known by everyone. So, Tito was a part of my Puerto Rican soundtrack.

When it comes to the life and legacy of the late Tito Puente, Newsweek has you covered.

Who Was Tito Puente?

A percussionist, composer, bandleader, and producer who specialised in Latin music, Tito Puente was a multi-talented artist. He entered this world on April 20, 1923, as Ernest Antonio Puente Jr.

Puente was born to Puerto Rican parents in New York City’s Spanish Harlem, and his Latin ancestry greatly influenced his success as a musician.

It wasn’t until he took the helm of his first orchestra in the 1940s that Puente really began to gain recognition for his danceable mambo and Latin jazz songs. Santana’s 1970 rendition of his song “Oye Como Va” catapulted it to mainstream success and made him famous.

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During his 50-year career, Puente received the key to the city of New York and was honoured with six Grammy Awards and 12 nominations.

From 1963 until his death in 1993, he was married to Margaret Asencio, with whom he had two children: Audrey Puente and Tito Puente Jr.

To honour Puente, Google has created an animated animation that takes us to his boyhood home on 110th Street and Third Avenue in Spanish Harlem. Tito Puente Way replaced 110th Street when he passed away.

Puente’s rise to fame as the “King of the Timbales” is chronicled in the Doodle, which opens with the young artist beating on kitchen utensils in his bedroom.


A Google Doodle commemorating the dedication of the Tito Puente Monument in his native East Harlem, New York, on October 10, 2021, has been published.

How Did Tito Puente Die?

New York University Hospital was the location of Tito Puente’s death on June 1, 2000. Age-wise, he was in the 77th year of his life.

A representative stated the singer underwent surgery in the wee hours of June 1, slipped into a coma that day, and passed away that evening.

After Puente’s demise, the Los Angeles Times reported that he had been hospitalised in Puerto Rico for cardiac issues a month before his death.

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