MEXICO CITY - Fans of Mexico's late legendary singer Juan Gabriel sang his hits Monday as they waited for a major tribute to the star at the capital's ornate Palace of Fine Arts.
More than 1,000 people braved the rain outside the domed cultural center in Mexico City while Gabriel's ashes were on their way from the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez, where his career began.
His ashes will be placed in the hall of the marble building for people to pay homage to their idol until Tuesday, the culture ministry said.
Fans danced and sang "Amor Eterno" and another favorite, "Noa Noa," as they gathered outside the palace. Authorities expect hundreds of thousands of people to join the tribute.
Motorcyclists escort the hearse with the ashes of Mexican singer-songwriter Juan Gabriel
The singer known as the "Divo of Juarez," who touched millions with wrenching ballads of love and loneliness, died of a heart attack on August 28 at his home in Santa Monica, California during a break in his latest tour. He was 66.
An old-school idol some liken to Mexico's Elvis Presley, Gabriel wrote hit songs, sold tens of millions of records, received six Grammy nominations, and had a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in a barrier-busting career that won him admirers around the world.
His hits included "No Tengo Dinero" ("I Have No Money"), "Hasta Que Te Conoci" (Until I Met You) and "Amor Eterno" (Eternal Love).
The ashes of Gabriel, whose real name was Alberto Aguilera Valadéz, were escorted by a convoy of motorcycles to the airport of Ciudad Juarez to be flown to the capital.
Tens of thousands of people attended a commemoration in Ciudad Juarez after his ashes arrived there on Saturday.