Héctor Lavoe was born to sing. As Latin music evolved from the boogaloo of the late '60s to the salsa boom of the '70s, Lavoe was at its forefront and "El Cantante" (the singer) of some of its most representative songs. Born Héctor Juan Perez in Ponce, Puerto Rico, on September 30, 1946, he was influenced by the Latin singers he heard on the radio, Daniel Santos and Chuito el de Bayamon, just to name a couple. As he grew more involved in music, he drew his inspiration from Puerto Rico's great sonero Ismael Rivera, as well as Cheo Feliciano. These influences are obvious in Lavoe's singing style: he attacks the son and montuno like the masters Rivera and Beny Moré, but Lavoe's natural talent for improvosation made him unique and very popular with salsa fans.