“You were there for me from day one,” Anthony tweeted. “Your sense of humor was contagious and I am forever grateful for your support, for the opportunity to be in your presence and for your amazing legacy.”
Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New York, Pacheco died at Holy Name Medical Center at 85 years old. Sources say he had been hospitalized for complications stemming from pneumonia.
The Juilliard-trained multi-instrumentalist founded label Fania Records — home to superstars such as Blades, Willie Colón, Larry Harlow, Hector Lavoe, Ray Barretto and Bobby Valentín — with Jerry Masucci.
“Johnny left us a very important musical legacy represented by all the significant collaborations he recorded throughout his career with Celia Cruz and Pete “El Conde” Rodríguez,” wrote Blades. “He was admired by millions of salseros and he was respected by his colleagues.”
See how others have paid tribute to Pacheco:
Gilberto Santa Rosa
“Today salsa and music in general is mourning,” wrote the “Que Alguien Me Diga” singer on Instagram. “One of the pioneers and creative genius has said goodbye. Rest in peace, maestro.”
The Panamanian singer-songwriter played the role of Pacheco’s daughter in the film Granpa. Ender posted a scene from the movie to honor Pacheco and wrote, “Thank you for your legacy to the world and for all the hearts you touched, including mine.”
The Dominican Republic salsa singer posted a photo of Pacheco on Instagram and wrote, “It was an honor getting to know you and shared the stage with you.”
The Puerto Rican “Como Olvidar” singer posted a group photo of her with Pacheco, Marc Anthony, among others. “I always admired you and everyone around you. You were always a gentleman, a great musician and a great human being. Another incredible loss. Rest in peace,” she wrote.
“To be able to work with you was a dream come true, because aside from admiring you since I was a little boy, I received your love and wisdom, something I’ll remember forever,” the Nicaraguan singer-songwriter captioned a photo he posted of himself in a studio with Pacheco.
Tito El Bambino
“Rest in peace, maestro,” wrote the Puerto Rican singer-songwriter on Instagram.