- Associated Press - Saturday, December 12, 2020

MIAMI (AP) - Frank Amadeo, a pillar of South Florida’s entertainment scene who helped propel the careers of singers Gloria Estefan and Shakira, has died. He was 57.

Both Estefan and The Latin Recording Academy announced the death on social media Saturday without stating a cause. WPLG in Miami reported he died from a sudden heart attack.

Amadeo was a longtime president at Estefan Enterprises, the company run by the singer and her husband, Emilio, which besides music was involved with restaurants, management and film and television production. In the 1980s, he was credited with helping launch the couple’s musical group, Miami Sound Machine, into the English-language market while he was the program manager at Miami radio station Y-100.

In an Instagram post, Gloria Estefan described herself as “devastated, shocked beyond belief and sad beyond words.”

The singer described Amadeo as “the most trusted ally we could have ever hoped for and an angel to everyone that had the good fortune of knowing him.”

In a 1995 interview with the Miami Herald, Amadeo said he had a heartfelt mission to turn Estefan into a star, given her hometown connection. He did this by putting the Miami Sound Machine’s “Dr. Beat,” into regular rotation on his radio station in 1984. He also called friends at radio stations across the country to convince them to play “Dr. Beat” too, according to the Herald.

Later in his career, while at Estefan Enterprises, he was involved in producing other Latin artists such as Shakira, Jennifer Lopez and Carlos Ponce.

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