Venezuelan folk singer-songwriter Simon Diaz has died at age 85, prompting an outpouring of mourning in the country that considered the man known as "Uncle Simon" to be a national treasure.
His daughter Bettsimar Diaz confirmed his death on her Twitter account, but gave no details.
Diaz's most often-performed song is "Caballo Viejo," which translates as "Old Horse." It was one of more than 200 songs he composed while recording 70 albums. His popularity grew as he hosted a children's television show and appeared in five films.
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Both the leftist government and its opponents in the bitterly divided nation paid homage to the singer on Wednesday.
Education Minister Hector Rodriguez says a song in honor of Diaz will be performed in all Venezuelan schools on Thursday.