OPM icon Rico J. Puno passes away


Posted at Oct 30 2018 07:16 AM | Updated as of Oct 30 2018 09:28 AM


From yesterday's photo shoot .

A post shared by Rico J. Puno (@ricojpuno) on

MANILA (UPDATE) - OPM icon Rico J. Puno died of heart failure Tuesday at the age of 65, his long-time manager Norma Japitana said.

Puno's daughter, Tosca, said her father died 1:56 a.m. at St. Luke's Medical Center Global City Taguig due to heart failure.

She said her father "was still in high spirits last night and looking forward to his shows and the ABS-CBN Station ID shoot."


I am seized with deep emotional shock when I found out that our OPM King - Kuya Rico J. Puno has passed away this morning (manila time). Numbed with grief, I would like to call on all entertainers in the OPM Industry as well as his worldwide fans to stop for a moment and say a prayer to one of the most respected singers in the country. I cannot help but say it was serendipitous that Starmedia prepared a solo 40th Anniversary concert for him and a US tour with the OPM stalwarts and colleagues just recently. Little did I know that this is his Final Bow in the live entertainment world. We will forever miss the TOTAL ENTERTAINER...but his songs will forever cherish in our hearts.

A post shared by Anna Puno (@annapuno) on

Born Enrico de Jesus Puno, the music icon rose to fame in the 70s with hits like "May Bukas Pa," "Kapalaran," "Lupa," "Macho Gwapito," "Sorry Na Pwede Ba" and others.

The veteran singer had two major heart operations in the last three years.

He underwent open heart surgery in 2015. He had a placement of pacemaker this year.

He was recently hospitalized due to complications from diabetes.

Puno was set to return to the concert stage on November 23 at The Theatre in Solaire.

He was also seeking reelection as a Makati City councilor in the 2019 mid-term polls.

Arrangements for his wake at Sanctuario de San Antonio in Forbes Park Makati are still being finalized.


Tributes and condolences poured in the wake of Puno's passing.

On Instagram, fellow singer Janno Gibbs paid tribute to his "Ang Probinsyano" co-star.

"Paalam Idol Rico J Puno! Ikaw ang tunay na King of Soul. Masaya ako at naging Tatay kita sa Ang Probinsyano. Mananatili kang buhay sa aming puso sa pamamagitan ng iyong mga awit," he wrote.

Award-winning singer and actress Lea Salonga wrote on Twitter, "Your distinctive voice that lent itself to so much of the music of my childhood will not be forgotten."

The country's "Divine Diva" Zsa Zsa Padilla said she was shocked upon learning of Puno's sudden passing.

"We will always remember your beautiful songs and your unique way of interpreting them," she said.


#ricojpuno we will miss you! Now that you are in heaven, behave! We love you! @starmediaentertainment

A post shared by martinnievera (@martinnievera) on

Singer-host Martin Nievera said he will miss Puno.

"We will miss you! Now that you are in heaven, behave! We love you!" he said. -- With a report from Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News