MIAMI – Venezuelan singer Jose Luis “El Puma” Rodriguez announced his return to music on Monday’s one-year anniversary of his double-lung transplant at a Miami hospital.
“Today I mark a year of having been reborn, not in spirit, but in body,” the 75-year-old artist wrote in a message to fans.
El Puma went on to thank the doctors and hospital staff; his family, friends and assistants; the donor and his family; and “the thousands of fans from all countries.”
But above all, he expressed gratitude to “my Heavenly Father, to Christ and to the Holy Spirit.”
Sources close to Rodriguez told EFE that the singer, known for hits such as “Pavo real” and “Señora Bonita,” has remained steadfast in his determination to return to recording and performing.
His plans for the near future include cutting a new album, his second with producer Ricardo Montaner, who was at the controls for El Puma’s “Inmenso,” released in early 2017.
Both Rodriguez and Montaner came to believe that “Inmenso” would be the last album from El Puma, afflicted for nearly 20 years by pulmonary idiopathic fibrosis, an incurable disease that forced him to rely on oxygen cylinders.
“At some point, I told Ricardo to hurry because I wasn’t going to make it (alive to finish the album),” El Puma revealed at a press conference shortly after being released from the hospital early this year.
Rodriguez is currently working intensively with a team of therapists, one of them a voice coach, and said that he plans to resume touring next year.