Renowned Cuban musician RICHARD EGUES, who was famed for his songwriting and flute playing, has died in Havana. He was 82. Egues reportedly suffered from a brain lesion before his death. Cuban-controlled news outlet Granma said the musician died on 1 September (06). According to Cuban music scholar RAUL FERNANDEZ, "He had a very sweet sound. "He was really the first person in all of Cuban popular music who was an upfront soloist, replacing the vocalists who had been the stars until then." Unlike some of his contemporaries, Egues remained loyal to the Cuban revolution and made news this summer (06) when he expressed his support for communist leader Fidel Castro as he underwent surgery. The ailing musician said at the time, "If it's necessary to give him life, I will offer mine."