Pau Dones, the singer and guitarist with Jarabe de Palo, has died at 53 after a nearly five year battle with colon cancer. Dones was a native of Montanuy in the Catalonia-region of Spain.
Dones death on June 9 was announced by the band in a statement on their official social media pages. The statement thanked various cancer hospitals for their “work and dedication” during Dones’ battle with the disease.
Jarabe de Palo released their first album in 1996, titled La Flaca. The band’s final release, Tragas O Escupes, was released in May 2020. The album’s title translates into English as “Swallow or Spit.”
Since 2008, the band released their material on their own label, Tronco Records. A few days before his death, Tronco Records said that Tragas O Escupes was listened to 772,000 on Spotify and had achieved 3.1 million views on YouTube.
Away from Jarabe de Palo, Dones wrote songs for Ricky Martin and has directed a music video for Alanis Morissette. In 2004, Dones and his brother, Marce Dones, directed the clip for Morissette’s song, “Everything.” The pair were chosen as the “Everything” video was for the Spanish-language market. The concept for the video was based on Jarabe de Palo’s video for their song, “Bonito,” according to a Billboard Magazine feature from the time.
Dones has battled cancer since 2015. The singer publicly disclosed his battle with the disease in August 2015. He was given the all-clear in 2016. The cancer returned in 2017. Due to his battles with the disease, Dones announced that he was stepping away from music indefinitely. Dones announced in an April 2020 video that he was coming out of retirement to begin performing and recording again. In December 2019, Dones performed at two fundraising concerts for cancer research in Barcelona.
Dones told Catalan News in December 2019 that he was living in California. Dones said of his new life:
Life is not only music. I used to live for music and for the other things. And what was I doing for my home? Earning money in order to pay bills. The future does not exist for me, and I live very well without a plan for the future and expectations of those plans.
Surviving the disease gives you a certain experience, and this is always an element of control, in the sense that you can measure your state of mind and your fears, and live with a certain calm.
In a 2018 interview with 20 Minutes Away, Dones said that the price he paid for his highly successful music career was missing his daughter, Sara’s, childhood.