CHICAGO • If you've been seeing a lot of "#QEPD" on your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram feeds lately and aren't quite sure what it means, this is for you.
The acronym comes from the Spanish words "Que En Paz Descanse" which translates into "Rest In Peace." It has lately been in reference to Juan Gabriel, the larger-than-life Mexican entertainer who passed away from a heart attack last Sunday at his home in California. He was 66.
The New York Times described the six-time Grammy Award nominee thusly: "It is difficult to overstate the popularity in Mexico of Juan Gabriel, whose music tapped a deeply sentimental vein in Mexican culture. His appeal transcended regional, racial and class boundaries in an otherwise stratified and fractured society. His music was played at children's birthday parties and the wedding anniversaries of retirees. It provided the soundtrack for joyous occasions and, just as much, for heartbreak."
I offer this correction: JuanGa, as he was known to his legions of fans, was remarkably popular all over the world. Specifically, anywhere there are Mexicans and their offspring.
For Mexicans, and others from Latin America, of a certain age, Gabriel was an icon, a household name, and a voice whose songs were instantly recognizable.