Frankie Ruiz
Frankie Ruiz

Jose Antonio Terresola Ruiz was born on March 10, 1958, in Paterson, New Jersey, USA and died on August 9, 1998, in Newark, New Jersey, USA. The mercurial salsa star Frankie Ruiz will likely be remembered as much for his wanton lifestyle and descent into self-destruction as his beguiling tenor voice and emphatic performances. His signature phrase was "Vaya, mi China!" (Go, Baby!).

As a teenager Ruiz moved to Puerto Rico and eventually became vocalist with Orquesta La Solución. He stayed with the group for three years before moving on to the Tommy Olivencia orchestra for another three years.

By the mid 1980's Frankie began recording as a solo artist. He toured extensively and was one of the most sought-after artists on the salsa music scene. Most closely associated with the "salsa romantica" movement of the late 1980's, his string of hits on the TH-Rodven Records label including Solista Pero No Solo Voy Pa' Encima.

Ruiz made significant contributions to salsa music and specifically to the "salsa sensual" movement, also known as salsa romantica. He helped to revive salsa at a time when its popularity was on a downturn. Ruiz became one of the first idols youth related to because of his own young age, handsome good looks, and true singing ability. A good example of his talents is this song, Bailando from his Serie 32 release on the Universal Latino label in 2001.

However, these successes were interspersed with periods of drug and alcohol abuse, and a three-year jail sentence in Jacksonsville, Texas, for assaulting a flight attendant. He was recording a new album for Rodven/ PolyGram Latino: Nacimiento y Recuerdos before the struggle to extricate himself from alcohol and drugs was lost. He eventually died of cirrhosis of the liver a month after his final concert on July 11, 1998 at Madison Square Garden. ~ Music of Puerto Rico