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José Padilla, DJ praised as ‘Ibiza legend’, dies at 64

Famously known as the godfather of chill out music, the Catalan artist passed away from colon cancer last Sunday


20 October 2020 01:33 PM


ACN | Barcelona

José Padilla, the Catalan-born resident DJ at Café del Mar during the 90s and known for his chill out compilation mixes, died from colon cancer on Sunday. He was 64 years old.

The artist announced his diagnosis in July and was admitted to the Can Misses hospital in Eivissa (local name for the island of Ibiza in the Balearic archipelago).

During this time, he released an appeal asking for help and donations to go towards his treatment. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the musician had not received any income for five months. In 12 hours people had raised nearly 17000 euros for his cause.

Padilla’s family announced his passing across his social media accounts on Monday night. On Instagram a picture of Padilla performing in his youth accompanies the statement. It reads “It is with great sadness that we bring you the news that José passed away peacefully in his sleep on Sunday night here on his beloved island of Ibiza … Now he has gone and the sunset in Ibiza will never be the same without him, but the beautiful music of José Padilla will stay with us forever. Goodbye Maestro … x”

The family also thanked the staff at Can Misses Hospital and everybody that donated and sent messages of support “to help make his last few months easier.”

Many people paid their respects, including Café del Mar, writing on Twitter that Padilla was a “true Ibiza Legend.”

International publications such as Billboard also joined mourners in paying their respects.

Padilla was born in Girona, in Northern Catalonia, in 1955. It was in 1976 that he made the move to Eivissa, which is when he began to play for the island’s clubs. 

He became famous as the resident DJ for Café del Mar. His chill out compilations, which accompanied clubbers through the Ibiza sunset, became a worldwide sensation.

In 1998 he released and produced his first album called “Souvenir”, and his 2001 project “Navigator” was nominated for a Latin Grammy

Padilla announced in 2015 that he was retiring from music due to health reasons. Despite this Padilla continued to organize a few shows, playing his last public set in June of this year at the Hostel La Torre de Sant Antoni.


  • José Padilla in his youth at Café del Mar (photo by Café del Mar on Twitter)

  • José Padilla in his youth at Café del Mar (photo by Café del Mar on Twitter)


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