Born: José Antonio Torresola Ruiz in Patterson, New Jersey, USA
José Antonio Torresola Ruiz (March 10, 1958 – August 9, 1998), better known as Frankie Ruiz, was a Puerto Rican salsa singer. He was a major figure in the salsa romántica subgenre that was popular in the 1980s and early 1990s. During his youth, he developed a passion for percussion, later confessing that this would have been his second choice after singing. While still in his 30s he became known as El Papá de la Salsa (The Father of Salsa).
Fan reaction to his work was diverse. Within the Latino community he was regarded as "one of the best salseros ever", and Puerto Ricans in the diaspora were particularly fond of it because it brought back memories of their homeland. Among non-Latinos, some admitted that his music had been responsible for their interest in salsa as a genre and even the Spanish language.
As salsa moved closer to pop music, and toned down the eroticism in its lyrics during the 1990s, Ruiz was challenged, along with other salsa romántica performers, but he managed to record a number of hits during his late career. He suffered from years of drug and alcohol abuse. His personal shortcomings were exploited by the tabloid media but had little impact on his popularity. In 1998, Ruiz died due to complications from liver disease.