Ray Reyes, former member of boy band Menudo, dies at 51
Ray Reyes, former member of boy band Menudo during its golden era, died on April 30. He was 51. Telemundo reports the cause of death was a massive heart attack.
His brother Raul confirmed the news via Facebook on Friday asking for privacy on behalf of the family.
"It is with great pain in my soul that I confirm the death of my beloved brother, Ray Reyes," he wrote in Spanish alongside a gallery of images. "I beg you all for space as we navigate this situation and ask that you please pray for our family, especially my mother who is very delicate. I also ask that you never forget his legacy. Now more than ever, we need to be united. Never stop expressing your love and affection for your fellow human beings."
Reyes was born in New York City in the spring of 1970 and was raised in Levittown, Puerto Rico, the same city he lived as an adult and where he died.
He joined boy band Menudo in early 1983 during its heyday, shortly before the addition of Ricky Martin and Draco Rosa (then known as Robby Rosa). He reportedly left the group in 1985 due to a growth spurt and was replaced by Raymond Acevedo.
Reyes reunited with other former Menudo members in 1998 to celebrate the group's 15th anniversary and again in 2005 as El Reencuentro as part of a farewell tour that continued to perform until their split a decade later. He would hit the stage as part of Menudo officially in 2016 and again in 2019.
In one of his final interviews, Reyes spoke to Telemundo about how difficult it was to escape the shadow of the hit boy band no matter how hard he tried.
"Throughout the years, I've tried to reinvent myself, but no matter what I tried, the topic of Menudo always came up," he said in Spanish. "I've tried to take on other professions, but all anyone wants to know about is Menudo. I don't mind because I'm very proud of all we accomplished, but reinventing myself after all of that was very difficult."
His bandmate Johnny Lozada shared a tribute to Reyes via Instagram.
"It's so difficult arriving at an age where your brothers of a lifetime begin journeys to places where we are unable to accompany them," he captioned a video of Reyes performing the song "Chiquitita." "But like the song says, the stars shine bright for you up high. That's how I will always remember you."
Reyes' funeral will take place on May 4 at 2 p.m. local time in Levittown, his brother announced.
He is survived by his two children, Marcos and Cecilia.