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The dance-inspiring sounds of Colombia-born vocalist Joe Arroyo (born: Alvaro Jose Arroyo Gonzalez) sampled a diverse array of Caribbean music styles, including salsa, compas, merengue, reggae, and soca. A former member of leading salsa band Fruko y Sus Tesos, Arroyo continued to blend musical influences with his own group, La Verdad (The Truth), beginning in 1981. Arroyo began his musical career at the young age of eight when he sang in a strip joint in his hometown of Cartagena. His first break came after he signed with the Discos Fuentes label in 1971, and was overheard by bass player, singer, composer, and producer Ernesto Estrada, better known as Fruko, who recruited him for his band. Arroyo continued to work with Fruko for the next decade. Although he nearly died from a drug overdose in the early '80s, Arroyo recovered and began to attract attention with his own group, La Verdad. He died on July 26, 2011 in a hospital in Barranquilla, Colombia. An announcement that he was a 2011 recipient of the Latin Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award was made on that same day. ~ Craig Harris