Final curtain call for the Total Entertainer Rico J | Inquirer Entertainment

Final curtain call for the Total Entertainer Rico J

By: - Reporter
/ 12:40 AM November 01, 2018

Rico J. Puno

He went to the hospital on Sunday only for an executive checkup, but doctors no longer allowed veteran singer Rico J. Puno to go home.

Rico eventually died of cardiac arrest on Tuesday morning. He was 65.


The singer underwent a procedure to implant a pacemaker in his heart on Oct. 26 at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Global City, Taguig.


The executive checkup was scheduled three days later, according to his friend and former manager Norma Japitana.

“There were other complications, but doctors said the cause of his death was cardiac arrest (at 1:56 a.m.),” she told the Inquirer on Tuesday afternoon. “They tried to revive him—this lasted for an hour.”

Rico J’s daughter, Tosca, and ex-wife, Doris Tayag-Puno, were beside him.

His remains now lie at Santuario de San Antonio in Forbes Park, Makati City.

Anna, his sister-in-law, posted on her Instagram account: “I would like to call on all entertainers in the OPM industry, as well as his worldwide fans to stop for a moment and say a prayer [for] one of the most respected singers in the country.”

Enrico de Jesus Puno, better known as Rico J, was a singer, comedian, actor and television host.


He was credited as a pioneer-promoter of original Filipino music. He staged his 40th anniversary concert and US tour recently.

“Little did I know that this was his final bow in the live entertainment world. We will forever miss the Total Entertainer, but his songs will forever cherish in our hearts,” Anna said.

On her Twitter account, Tony winner and Inquirer Entertainment columnist Lea Salonga said Rico J’s “distinctive voice [that] lent itself to so much of the music of my childhood will not be forgotten.”

Zsa Zsa Padilla said she was “shocked to hear about [his] sudden passing. We will always remember your beautiful songs and your unique way of interpreting them.”

Zsa Zsa Padilla

Filipino-British actor and model Bailey May described Rico J as “a kind and humble man.” Bailey said the singer would “always be remembered for the great music you blessed us with. If it wasn’t for your song ‘May Bukas Pa,’ I would not be where I am today.”

In 2016, Bailey’s dad, Matthew, joined the singing competition “I Love OPM” where he sang Rico J’s popular ballad.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Singer-actress Jenine Desiderio thanked Rico J for “the laughter, the music and all the advice when I was just starting in this industry.” She said she was also grateful “for making me a part of your shows.”

Bailey May

Jenine Desiderio

TAGS: Celebrities, Entertainment, news, Rico J. Puno, Total Entertainer

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.