Top Tejano singer LAURA CANALES has died in hospital in Texas following complications from a gall bladder operation. She was 50.

Canales was hospitalised last month (MAR05) after doctors discovered she was suffering from pneumonia among other conditions following her operation.

Among those paying tribute to Canales, Tejano Roots Hall of Fame chief JAVIER VILLANUEVA said, "Her voice knocked me off my feet. Every time there was a dance going on, Laura was known for just walking up to the stage and asking if she could sing a song. She just always had the love for it."

Canales started her career as a singer for LOS UNICOS Y EL CONJUNTO BERNAL (corr) but went solo upon that group's split.

She was dubbed the Barbra Streisand of Tejano music.

Tejano is the name given to Mexican-style polka party music, featuring keyboards and electronics.

19/04/2005 03:08