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Brazil's romantic singer Nelson Ned dies

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The Brazilian romantic singer Nelson Ned, who had a successful singing career in Latin America in the 1970 and 1980's, died Sunday in San Paulo at the age of 66.

Nelson Ned was hospitalized Saturday due to a severe case of pneumonia and high fever. In the last decade, he had serious health problems - cardiovascular attack affecting his vision and Alzheimer.

Nelson Ned d’Ávila Pinto started his singing in Rio de Janeiro bars before he became known in Brazil after his appearance in a popular television show. Once he started singing in Spanish many doors started opening in the Latin American market. He was nicknamed 'el pequeño gigante' (the small giant) due to his height - 3 feet, 6 inches - a sensation in the 1960’s, when he emerged as one of Brazil’s most famous romantic performers.

Ned sold 45 million albums worldwide, becoming the first Latin artist to sell more than 1 million albums in the U.S. market, where he performed three times at Carnegie Hall in New York. Some of his popular songs were "Si Las Flores Pudieran Hablar", "Jesus Te Ama", "Happy Birthday My Darling" which sold a million records in the U.S. in 1974. In the 1990's, he converted to evangelical Protestantism dedicating himself to singing religious songs in Portuguese and Spanish.

Rest in peace Nelson Ned 'el pequeño gigante'.

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