Francis M, a trailblazer of music and fashion in the Philippines, has passed away after an arduous struggle with leukemia.
Known in his native homeland by the title of Master Rapper, Francis M (Francis Magalona) inspired strong patriotism among his countrys youth throughout a celebrated career spanning Hip-Hop, movies, fashion, and photography.
The country has lost a modern-day artist, a nationalist in his own creative way, stated Philippines Senator Ramon Bong Revilla, Jr. to GMA News. Francis M. used music and fashion to promote love of country among Filipino youth.
Beginning his career as a breakdancer in the early 80s, Francis M moved into feature films in the early 90s before releasing his seminal Pinoy album Yo! in 1990.
The LP, helmed by the nationwide hit Kababayan (My Countrymen), became the first commercially released Hip-Hop album in the Phillipines.
Throughout the 90s, Franciss music continued to be acclaimed for its social and political commentary, along with his experimentation with rock arrangements and melodies.
Last year, he was diagnosed with leukemia and began extensive chemotherapy treatment.
An avid blogger, Francis kept fans up to date via his website http://www.magalona.com/, even posting the day before his death.
I look forward to the pain as I know my journey is on full speed ahead, Francis wrote in a recent entry. I will not be bold to say that without asking a favor from you all. PLEASE PRAY for me as I undergo treatment. Your prayers, as always, have sustained me. And [I] am sure the Lord will listen to all our prayers. To His will I submit myself.
Francis Magalona is survived by his wife Pia Arroyo and eight children.
He was 44 years old.
At the time of his passing, Francis was working on a project with guitarist Ely Buendia and other Filipino artists entitled The Sickos Project.
The album is expected to be released posthumously.