OPM stalwart Eugene Villaluz dies after short battle with cancer

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 10 2017 07:48 PM | Updated as of Jun 11 2017 01:28 AM

Eugene Villaluz is best remembered for his strong tenor which he showcased as part of The New Minstrels. Photo from Villaluz's Facebook page

Eugene Villaluz, who earned fame as part of the popular 1970s band the New Minstrels, died of cancer on Saturday at the age of 70, his family said. 

The music veteran passed away at about 4:30 p.m. at St. Luke's Global City after a short battle with prostate cancer, his nephew, the Company's Moy Ortiz, confirmed to ABS-CBN News' Mario Dumaual. Villaluz was diagnosed with cancer in April. 

Villaluz's years as a tenor for the New Minstrels, one of the country's biggest musical groups, made him a household name. He is widely credited for popularizing "Gulong ng Palad" and for his hit "Nothing I Want More" with Louie Reyes. 

His last major show was in February, when he performed with the Company and Joey Albert at the Kia Theater in Cubao. 

Following the news of his passing, tributes began pouring in from Villaluz's peers such as Reyes, who described the news as "devastating," as quoted by the Philippine Daily Inquirer

On Facebook, former actor Chuckie Dreyfus wrote that Villaluz was a "true leader, a wonderful mentor, and a dear friend." 

The official Twitter account of Meridian International College, where Villaluz taught music business management, posted: "You will be dearly missed. Your spirit will live on in our classrooms, hallways and studios. R.I.P. sir Eugene."

Below is a video of Villaluz performing Nat King Cole's "Mona Lisa."