Music industry, fans mourn death of Filipino rock icon Pepe Smith

Coconuts Manila

Filipino rock icon Pepe Smith has died at the age of 71, his daughter confirmed in a Facebook post this morning.

Daisy Smith-Owen shared a photo with her rockstar dad and said: “Thank you for being the best dad in the world. I know you’re in the best place now, no more pains papa … I love you to the moon and back.”

Smith was rushed to the hospital early this morning, ABS-CBN News reported. He suffered three strokes from 2016 — 2017; his last one occurred in November 2017.

Fondly called the “Mick Jagger of the Philippines,” Smith was a singer, drummer, composer, and guitarist known for being a member of Filipino rock bands Juan dela Cruz Band and The Downbeats.

With The Downbeats, Smith opened for The Beatles during their 1966 concert in Manila.

He was one of the pioneers of the Pinoy Rock genre and remained a prominent member of the country’s music industry up until his death.

Filipino musicians and other members of the industry honored him in posts online upon hearing about his death.

Singer and actor Marc Abaya shared a photo with Smith with the caption: “He’s a rollin’ stone. He’s a man-child. He’s Pepe Smith.”

Jim Paredes of the musical group APO Hiking Society expressed sadness in his tweet.

“Another OPM legend bites the dust. With deep sadness, I say Farewell Pepe Smith. Gentle travels,” he wrote.

Callalily frontman Kean Cipriano simply wrote, “Rest in peace Sir Pepe Smith.”

Host, writer, and philanthropist Gang Badoy shared that it was Smith who inspired her to establish the alternative education organization RockEd Philippines.

“Pepe Smith, who gave me courage to go ahead and make the idea of Rock Ed real. This was in Ayuyang, Baguio, a long long time ago -when his glee in saying ‘OKEY YAN, TULOY MO YAN‘ [That’s all good, just do it] made all the difference in the world for then-hesitant me. Salamat Salamat [Thank you] Pepe, rock n roll,” she said.

Smith’s family has not released details about his passing. His other daughter, DJ Sanya Smith asked for  “space and privacy” in another Facebook post.

“To those who have been asking for information on Pepe’s passing: We will post details of the wake and funeral plans as soon as possible, but in the meantime, our family would like to ask for space and privacy as we move through this difficult period. Pepe was loved by many and will be severely missed. As Pepe would say, Rakenrol,” she wrote.

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