Singer and Dallas native Trini Lopez, who became an international star in the 1960s, has died.
Palms Spring Life magazine reports Lopez died Tuesday from complications related to COVID-19. He was 83.
The son of Mexican immigrants, Lopez grew up in Dallas’ Little Mexico neighborhood, where he played in bands as a teenager.
Lopez moved to California in 1959, and he shot to fame four years later, in 1963, with his version of the song “If I Had a Hammer.”
Lopez spoke to Los Angeles-based singer Mark Guerrero in a 2018 interview about his chart-topper.
“I liked the material,” Lopez said. “I like the lyrics of the song, and of course, I liked the melody. But, I didn’t like the way Peter Paul and Mary had recorded it. The beat was kind of dull, so I put my Latin beat in there. I put my Trini beat in there.”
The song topped the charts in 25 countries, and he followed it with another hit, “Lemon Tree,” in 1965.
Lopez was also an actor — appearing on TV alongside the likes of Frank Sinatra, as well as in films like “The Dirty Dozen.