Trini Lopez, singer of ‘If I Had a Hammer’, dies at 83

Trini Lopez

Mexican American singer Trini Lopez died of coronavirus-related complications in California on Tuesday, Associated Press reported. He was 83.

Lopez died at the Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, filmmaker P David Ebersole told the news agency.

The singer recorded over 60 albums in his career. Singer Frank Sinatra mentored him and signed him to his label Reprise Records. His signature music style was a blend of rock and roll, American folk and Latin. Lopez was also a skilled guitarist.

Lopez’s debut album Live at PJ’s was released in 1963. It was recorded at a nightclub in Los Angeles.

Lopez’s biggest records include If I Had a Hammer and Lemon Tree. The singer drew inspiration from his Mexican heritage and embraced it, unlike most Latin American performers of his time.

His songs Kansas City and I’m Coming Home, Cindy made their way to the Top 40 hits.

In 1996, Lopez also starred in The Dirty Dozen, a film about soldiers who were sent on a suicide mission during the Second World War.

Rock band Foo Fighters took to Twitter to pay tribute to the iconic singer. “Today the world sadly lost yet another legend, Trini Lopez,” they said in a tweet on Wednesday. “Trini not only left a beautiful musical legacy of his own, but also unknowingly helped shape the sound of the Foo Fighters from day one.”

Singer Pat Boone also posted a tribute to Lopez on Facebook. “Trini Lopez…what a great guy and wonderful friend,” he wrote. “We played in celebrity tennis tournaments and laughed and sang. We both knew we were blessed to make a good living doing what we loved – making others happy! I’ll miss him – for a little while.”

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