Pinoy rock icon Pepe Smith passes away at 71
He was a founding member of Juan de la Cruz Band, the group that defined Pinoy rock
Jan 28, 2019
Filipino rock icon Joey “Pepe” Smith passed away early this morning, Jan. 28, at the age of 71. The news was confirmed by his daughter Daisy Smith-Owen on a Facebook post.
According to Smith-Owen on a separate post, the rockstar was rushed to the hospital early Monday morning. His other daughter, former MYX VJ Sanya Smith, also shared an intimate photo with her father.
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Smith was a founding member of the esteemed Juan de la Cruz Band, along with Wally Gonzales and Mike Hanopol. The band was credited to be the rock group that pioneered and defined Pinoy rock. Smith composed “Himig Natin,” the band’s most classic song, in a ladies’ toilet backstage while waiting to play in a concert in 1972.
Prior to his stint with Juan de la Cruz Band, he was also the lead singer of the band Eddie Reyes and the Downbeats, which opened for The Beatles at their concert in Manila in 1966. He earned the title of “Mick Jagger of the Philippines” after imitating his style in various gigs.
He suffered from multiple strokes in recent years and was reportedly skipping his medication. Smith is survived by his five children: Queenie, Sanya, Beebop, Desiderata (Daisy), and Delta.
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