BREAKING NEWS: Trini Lopez has passed away

Legendary American singer, guitarist, actor and Gibson signature artist dies at the age of 83

Trini Lopez

Photo: Harry Benson / Express / Getty Images

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Guitar.com understands that legendary American singer, guitarist, actor and Gibson signature artist Trini Lopez has died at the age of 83.

Palm Springs Life reports that the If I Had A Hammer star, who had lived in the Californian city since the 1960s, passed away on 11 August. The cause of death is thought to be COVID-19. Work on a forthcoming documentary on his life had recently been completed, and Lopez had been sent a cut for approval last week.

Trini Lopez was born Trinidad López III in Dallas, Texas in 1937, to parents who had moved to the USA from Mexico. His father, Trinidad Lopez II, was a singer, dancer, actor, and musician.

Trini formed his first band at the age of just 15 in Wichita Falls, Texas, and went on to secure a Columbia Records contract with his band The Big Beats after Buddy Holly’s father recommended them to Holly’s producer Norman Petty.

As a solo artist, Lopez was signed by Frank Sinatra to his Reprise Records label, and his popularity in the mid-1960s saw Lopez work with Gibson on a pair of signature models.

The Trini Lopez Deluxe was a variation on the Barney Kessel model, while the Trini Lopez Standard combined ES-335 and Firebird features and would later be used by Dave Grohl and Noel Gallagher.

Dave Grohl poses with his trusty Trini Lopez signature model for Guitar Magazine in 1999. Image: James Cumpsty

As well as multiple chart hits, Trini’s career also included several film roles including the classic 1967 war movie The Dirty Dozen. Lopez was inducted into the International Latin Music Hall Of Fame in 2003 and released his 65th album, Into The Future, in 2011.

Find out more about the Trini Lopez documentary, My Name Is Lopez, at palmspringslife.com

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