Feuding children reach truce on funeral for Mexican superstar Jose Jose

Jean ARCE
Marysol Sosa, daughter of the late singer Jose Jose, speaks during a news conference with her brother José Joel Sosa, at Bayfront Park in Miami on October 1, 2019

After days of drama involving a missing corpse, a family feud and a soundtrack of heartbroken love songs, late Latin singing sensation Jose Jose's children have set aside their differences and agreed on plans for his funeral, the Mexican government said Wednesday.

Moreover, his "missing" body has now been found, at a funeral home in Miami, said his son, Jose Joel.

Jose Jose, known as "The Prince of Song," one of the most famous Mexican singers of all time, died Saturday in Miami at age 71.

His death set off a bitter battle between his youngest child and her two half-siblings, who accused her of hiding his body, seeking to get rich off his death and "putting on make-up" and "straightening her hair" amid the family's mourning.

But the Mexican foreign ministry, whose consulate in Miami brought the three siblings together Tuesday night to mediate the dispute, announced the family had reached an agreement.

Jose Jose will be given a funeral Friday in Miami, the ministry said in a statement. Then his body will be flown to Mexico City next week for a series of public tributes, tentatively including events at the capital's Palace of Fine Arts and National Auditorium.

"Jose Jose's family agreed to first pay tribute to him in Miami, and then again in Mexico City," the statement said.

It did not say where he would be laid to rest.

However, one key mystery did get cleared up: his body is at a funeral home in Miami.

"He's here, we're certain now," Jose Joel told journalists outside the establishment. "They're preparing him, embalming him."

"We're united as a family to give our father, our prince, the tribute and burial he deserves, with all our love," he added.

- Mourning and mystery -

Jose Jose's death unleashed an outpouring of emotion in Mexico, where fans belted out his hits through tears in public and flocked to mourn at a statue of him in his native Mexico City neighborhood.

But the tears had not even finished flowing when the loss took a telenovela-like turn.

Jose Joel and Marysol, his eldest children, said their half-sister, Sarita, would not let them see his body. They called for an autopsy, filed a police report, hired a lawyer and insisted they would not believe he was dead until they saw him with their own eyes.

A furious Jose Joel said Sarita, 25, was "after the money," and accused her of hiding their father's body as part of a plan to sell exclusive media rights to the funeral.

With his velvety voice and songs of heartbreak, Jose Romulo Sosa Ortiz -- better known by his stage name, Jose Jose -- sold more than 120 million albums in a career spanning over five decades.

He married three times, fathering Jose Joel and Marysol with his second wife and Sarita with his third.

He ceded all rights to his songs to Sarita, who lived with him and her mother, Sara, in Miami.