Home » Who Was José José? Know His Bio, Age, Career, Net Worth, Salary, Height And Weight Before Death

Who Was José José? Know His Bio, Age, Career, Net Worth, Salary, Height And Weight Before Death


José José, born February 17, 1948 as José Rómulo Sosa Ortiz was a Mexican musician, singer and actor. He died in September 2019 at the age of 71. He is remembered in the music world as “El Príncipe de la Canción” (The Prince of Song). Jose was born in 1948 in Clavería, Azcapotzalco, Mexico City. His mother was Margarita Ortiz, a classical concert pianist and his father was Jose Sosa Esquivel, an opera singer (tenor comprimario).

Jose showed his musical talents even as a child, but was discouraged by his alcoholic father, who later abandoned the family and died of alcoholism.

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José José Career Details

Jose was gifted a piano by his mother at the age of 15 and started his musical career as a teenager playing guitar and singing in serenade, in a bossa nova and jazz band called Los PEG (1963).In his teens, José learned to play music from top Mexican jazz players and was adept at playing several instruments, such as the piano, bass, guitar and double bass. He started his solo career in 1965 under the name of “Pepe Sosa”. His breakthrough moment came in 1968 when he got a contract with RCA Victor of Orefon Records and recorded his first album: “José José”, at the age of 19.

His first big hit was “La nave del olvido”, released in 1970, which became a hit in Mexico and Latin America. In 1970, he also participated in the Latin Song festival, representing Mexico, and although he was placed only third in the competition (with a rendition of the song “El Triste”), it helped launch him and made him familiar with a larger audience.


He was invited by Frank Sinatra in 1973 for a collaboration but could not do so, due to his arrangement with his recording label, which was exclusive. They remained close friends till Sinatra’s death.

In the 70’s Jose release several successful songs like “De Pueblo en Pueblo,” “Hasta Que Vuelvas,” “Déjame Conocerte”, “Sentimientos,” “Paloma,” and “Gavilan o Paloma and “El Principe”, and continued to make best selling albums in the 80’s as well.

Some of his most famous albums in the 80’s includes “Amor Amor” (which sold over 1.5 million copies), “Romantico”, “Ma Vida”, “Secretos”, which earned him his first Grammy nomination for the Best Latin Pop Performance (1985) and sold over 4 million copies and “Reflexiones”, which sold over 2 million copies and earned him a second Grammy nomination (1986).

He was nominated for Grammys in 1987, 88 as well as 89. He achieved international fame in the 80’s with his hugely successful albums and sold-out venues like the Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall. He succeeded in non-Spanish-speaking countries like Israel, Russia, and Japan. In 1997, José was inducted into Billboard Latin Music Hall of Fame.

José José Dating History And Marriage Details

Jose married thrice in his life. He was dating TV host and actress Ana Elena Norena or Anel in 1970, but they split up the same year. He married Natalia “Kiki” Herrera, who was 20 years older, in 1970, but Jose and Herrera divorced in 1975. He got back with Anel and married her in 1976. They have three children, son Jose Joel, Jose Francesco and daughter Marisol Estrella.

Jose and Anel separated in 1991. He later married Sara Salzar in 1995. The couple have 3 daughters, Monique, Sarita and Celine. Jose and Sara lived together in Miami, till his death in 2019.

José José Awards And Nominations

He also had a successful acting career, acting in movies like “Gavilán o Paloma”, and “Perdóname Todo”and also in TV shows. He even won a TVY Novelas Award in 2007 for his work in the TV show, “La Fea Mas Bella”.

In the early 1970s, after the success of “El Triste”, he developed an addiction to alcohol and later cocaine. He battled alcoholism throughout his life and went to several public rehabs. By the 1990’s Jose’s alcoholism and drug habits and his continuous working had caused his vocals to deteriorate and over time it worsened to the point that he could no longer give live performances. He developed diabetes due to excessive drinking and was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2017, passing away in 2019, battling the cancer.

In 2002, José José was awarded the Excellence Award at the 14th Annual Lo Nuestro Awards and was inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame. In 2004, he received the Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. The same year he received a star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 2005, he received the “Personalidad del Año” (Person of the Year) by the Latin Recording Academy. In 2007, a bronze statue was unveiled in his honour in the Azcapotzalco area in Mexico City, where he grew up.

José José Final Career Path

He worked with Yanni in 2008 and published his autobiography in the same year. In 2010 Jose launched his own perfume, named “Jose Jose”. The profits from the sale of the perfume went to help children and women affected with HIV/AIDS.
He gave his final live performance in 2012, in Hard Rock Café in Miami, on the 50th anniversary of his career. In 2013, he received the Billboard Latin Music Lifetime Achievement Award. Over the course of his career, he has sold more than 250 million copies of his songs.

José José Financial Issues

Despite being one of the most famous and adored Latin musicians of all times, Jose in his later years was besieged with many financial issues. He was always public about his problems, talking opening about his addictions and fighting depression and later cancer. His alcoholism caused him serious monetary loss. His career declined when he lost his vocal ability, stopping income from live performances. He also claimed that his ex-wife Anel and his brother-in-law who was also his manager had cheated him and siphoned of his earnings at the peak of his career. His medical bills due to his many ailments nearly caused him to go bankrupt, and he had to move out of his mansion in Coral Gables, Florida, and moved to an apartment in Miami.

José José Controversies

His death in 2019, sparked many controversies, mainly when his daughter Sarita refused to disclose where his body was interred and got into a fight with his other children Jose Joel and Marisol, who accused Sarita of kidnapping her father and forcing him to sign papers “to keep the singer’s fortune. The children finally reached a truce with Sarita disclosing the location of his body. Sarita and Jose’s wife Sara own all the rights to Jose’s songs.

José José Net Worth Before Death

Jose had a net worth of over $5 Million Dollars at the time of his death. His height is 5 feet 8 inches. He has black hair and brown eyes.