Robi Draco Rosa, the rebellious musician who battled cancer for two years to produce a powerful and acclaimed album, Vida, which won the Latin Grammy for Album of the Year in November, has cancer again. The 44-year old singer discovered during a tour of Latin America several months ago that the Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma which nearly killed him had returned. But he continued performing, including a vibrant concert at the Fillmore Miami Beach in late October. On the night he won the Latin Grammy, Draco told his manager. But he kept the news from the rest of the world until Tuesday, after he had finished celebratory sold-out concerts last Friday and Saturday at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico on his home island of Puerto Rico.
“The courage and will Draco has is out of this world,” said his manager Angelo Medina. “He wanted his encounters with people to be natural and not to be evaluated as a person who had a condition.”
Vida has been nominated for a Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album. A statement from Draco’s publicist said he would continue work on a new album while receiving a bone-marrow transplant and other treatment.
Draco, who had overcome self-destructive bouts with alcohol and drug addiction and depression, found a surprising peace after his struggle with cancer. “I’m so grateful, so thankful,” he told the Herald in October. “It’s so miraculous for me to be here and see people again.” He was looking forward to bringing that appreciation to his music. “I want to lift up some spirits… while still staying genuine. I want to dance a little more. There’s a lot of simple things I want to share with people, and I hope I have the music to help them get there.”