Frankie Ruiz was one of the most popular Salsa singers of the 80s and 90s. Sadly he was addicted to drugs and alcohol and this led to his premature death in 1998. He was born Jose Antonio Torresola Ruiz Mar. 10, 1958 in Paterson, NJ. His parents were Puerto Rican immigrants. He sang as a child and worked local clubs as a teen in The Charlie Lopez Orchestra. After his parents divorced, he moved with his mom to Mayaguez, Puerto Rico in 1974. He became a fan of the local band La Solucion. His mom asked bandleader Roberto Rivera to give him an audition. Rivera refused until his singer didn't show up one night. Ruiz got his chance and he stayed with the band for three years. Then Ruiz joined Tommy Olivencia's band in 1982 and was very successful to the point that he left to go solo in 1985. Ruiz was much younger than most of the other salsa singers of that time and that helped to bring in younger fans. His style of singing was known as Salsa Romantica and was influential on other singers. Ruiz' nickname was El Papa de la Salsa (The Father of Salsa) despite his youth. He had big hits with songs like Tu Con El and La Cura. But his drug addiction landed him in jail. Ruiz said the death of his mom in 1975 influenced this. And as I said, Ruiz was in a Florida jail for three years. Upon his release, Ruiz recorded the 1992 album Mi Libertad which included the hit Bailando. Ruiz claimed to be reborn. But sadly he started abusing drugs again and it affected his voice when a tube was put down his throat. After a July 11, 1998 concert performance at Madison Square Garden in New York, Ruiz was hospitalized. He died of liver failure on Aug. 9, 1998 at age 40. A very sad end to a great singer. This budget comp is a good intro to his music. Here's Frankie Ruiz performing Bailando.