Last updated: December 23. 2013 5:36PM - 578 Views
Associated Press



Fans of Colombian singer and composer Diomedes Diaz surround a firefighter truck carrying his coffin to the main square where his body will lie in state until his funeral in Valledupar, Colombia, Monday, Dec. 23, 2013.  Diaz, one of the greatest performers of Colombia's vallenato music, died on Sunday. He as 56. (AP Photo/Adamis Guerra)
Fans of Colombian singer and composer Diomedes Diaz surround a firefighter truck carrying his coffin to the main square where his body will lie in state until his funeral in Valledupar, Colombia, Monday, Dec. 23, 2013. Diaz, one of the greatest performers of Colombia's vallenato music, died on Sunday. He as 56. (AP Photo/Adamis Guerra)
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(AP) Colombians mourned on Monday over the death of musician Diomedes Diaz, the best-known performer of the country's accordion-heavy vallenato music.


Hundreds of people swarmed around a firetruck that carried his body for display in the main square of Valledupar, the singer-songwriter's hometown.


Mayor Fredys Soccaras told Venezuela's Caracol radio that Diaz died Sunday of a heart attack after being rushed to a hospital. He was 56.


From a poor childhood on a farm near Colombia's Caribbean coast, Diaz rose to become one of the top-selling artists of the musical genre revered in Colombia. He was honored with a Latin Grammy for best vallenato album in 2010.


Diaz was also known for his off-stage excesses, including a lifelong battle with drugs and alcohol and a conviction for trying to cover up the overdose death of a fan at his home.


His death came three days after he released a new CD.


Associated Press
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