Tony Croatto

From Academic Kids

Tony Croatto (March 2, 1940 - April 3, 2005) was an Croatian-Italian-Puerto Rican singer and composer best known for his interpretations of Puerto Rican folk music.

Born Hermes Davide Fastino Croatto Martinis in Udine, Italy, Croatto's family moved to Uruguay when he was 9 years old. In 1959, at 19, he created his first group with his brother Tim and his sister Nelly which was named "TNT". In 1968, after spending some years in Argentina and Venezuela, he moved permanently to his adopted homeland, Puerto Rico. He performed with his sister Nelly in a duo called "Tony y Nelly" until 1974.

Croatto was also noted for his popular protest songs in the "Nueva Trova" tradition, as part of the band: "Haciendo Punto En Otro Son", along with Puerto Rican singers Silverio Pérez, Josy LaTorre, Irvin García, and Nano Cabrera. Since then he was well regarded for his interpretations of Puerto Rican folk music.

In 1985, Croatto recorded another mega-hit: his song, El Niñito Jesus, released during the Christmas season, which told about a poor child, named Jesus, with wornout pants, hunger and no shoes, who walked into a house of well doers. This song has become a christmas classic in Puerto Rico.

Croatto's daughter, Mara Croatto, born in Venezuela, is a famous actress, who considers herself one hundred percent Puerto Rican.

In 2000 the City of San Juan, Puerto Rico proclaimed him as its adoptive son. See proclamation at http://home.coqui.net/asamblea/ra/2000-01/R2000-0164.pdf#search='tony%20croatto'

Croatto was diagnosed on March of 2005 with lung and brain cancer. He refused medical treatment, opting for natural treatments instead. The famous television character, "La Comay", said that "Tony is more Puerto Rican than many who were born in Puerto Rico", but her comments backfired when Croatto's wife (Lillian Arroyo) reacted angrily days later, declaring newspapers that she did not wish for anyone to discuss her husband's disease on television.

After requesting to be released from the hospital to spend his last days with his family, Croatto passed away, on April 2, 2005. His funeral was held at the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture and he was given the same burial as a head of state. Thousands of Puerto Ricans attended accompanied his remains, which were buried in the Old San Juan Cementery.

List of celebrities at Croatto's funeral

A large list of celebrities, mostly Puerto Ricans, attended Croatto's funeral.

Here is a partial list of those celebrities that attended:

See also

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