Ruben Cubillos, a Tejano advocate, legendary graphic designer, and former lead singer of Latin Breed, passed away on Sunday (Aug. 1) in San Antonio after a brave battle with cancer, Latin Groove News reports. He was 65.
The El Paso native began his career in Tejano as the lead singer for Latin Breed. In the early 1980s, while he was honing his music career, Cubillos developed his interest in visual arts. Intrigued by graphics, he taught himself how to design on the computer. Cubillos stopped touring and moved to San Antonio to pursue his creative dreams.
Since 1985, Cubillos created about 150 album covers for musical artists and Tejano icons like Little Joe, Juan Gabriel, and Selena. He also created the iconic logos for Selena and David Lee Garza Y Los Musicales, along with many other iconic Tejano advertising campaigns with his company A Big Chihuahua Inc.
Many Tejano stars and industry executives shared their condolences and memories of Cubillos via social media.
“It is with great sadness that the Tejano industry has lost an icon in the music industry,” Charlie Rodriguez, leader of Latin Breed, shared via Facebook. “Ruben was former singer of The Latin Breed and continued with The Breed as booking manager, promotions, and graphics. The Latin Breed family has lost another member.”
David Chavez, CEO and founder of Ingeñuity, the company behind the annual Tejano Music National Convention in which Cubillos created the event logos shared on Facebook, “Today we lost a dear long-time friend and partner in the advancement of our community…Ruben was the guardian of Mexican American culture, especially in music and the graphic arts. He was a renaissance man who was a passionate advocate of anything Latino, Chicano, or Tejano.”
Latin Groove News reports, “In spite of the excruciating pain and the medical complications, he was a spiritual man, in his own words, ‘ready to make the final journey.'”
Cubillos spoke about his career and projects in an interview with KUT in 2016. “I’m at the cusp, I’m at the epicenter of Tejano music, and guess what? I am able to touch Tejano music, Tejano artists, Tejano design, everything,” he said. “Am I trendy? No. Can I be trendy? Yes. Do I want to be? No. I want to be who I am.”
He definitely was an ICON in Tejano music and culture and he will be missed.
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