The sound of “Happy Birthday My Darling” will be heard in the heavens above after Brazilian singer and songwriter Nelson Ned’s death was announced Sunday.
Ned was 66-years-old when he died at a clinic in São Paolo Brazil, according to reports from the secretary of health published by several news outlets, including RPP Noticias. Ned died of “medical complications” after being hospitalized for pneumonia as well as problems with his bladder at the Hospital Regional São Paolo.
“El Pequeno gigante de la cancion, (The small musician giant) as many called him because of his height—he was shorter than four feet—became known for his ballads around the world, often telling stories of love lost and tragedy.
He became a musical great in his country Brazil in the 1970s and quickly became an international star, in part because he had an extensive repertoire in Spanish.
Ned was a musical favorite of many in countries such as Mexico, Argentina and Colombia, with hits such as “Todo Pasará.”
His hit “Happy Birthday My Darling” in 1974 won him the honor of being the first Latino artist to sell a million records in the U.S.
He has performed alongside Julio Iglesias and Tony Bennett in the U.S. and sold out New York’s Carnegie Hall with his performances.
In the remainder of his musical career Ned dedicated his talent to singing Christian music, recording albums such as “Jesus Te Ama” in 1995, the result of converting to Evangelical Christianity after what he called living a life of excess.
Nelson Ned’s declining health
RPP Noticias also reports that as of 2003 Nelson Ned d”Avila Pinto, which is his birth name, had suffered a stroke and had lost vision in his right eye. He was also suffering a host of other health problems including diabetes, high blood pressure and the beginning stage of Alzheimer’s disease.
Nelson Ned had a huge following in the United States and had a home in Miami for several years but had been living at a nursing facility in Brazil since his health had declined.