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Cuban Singer Ibrahim Ferrer Dead at 78

Cuban singer Ibrahim Ferrer, one of the leading voices with the Buena Vista Social Club of vintage Cuban performers, has died at age 78.

The cause of death was not known, but it follows Ferrer's recent return to Cuba from a trip to Europe.

Born in the Cuban city of Santiago in 1927, Ferrer began singing professionally in 1941. By the late 1950s, he was an established singer who performed with well-known Cuban bands. Ferrer was a master singer of the son and bolero music styles.

By the 1990s, Ferrer had left the musical scene and was shining shoes for money when U.S. musician Ry Cooder recruited him to participate in the Buena Vista Social Club album, a hugely popular recording that won a Grammy. The group's fame grew with a film of the same name by German director Wim Wenders.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.