(Miami, Fl. March 13, 2023)- Polito Vega “THE KING OF RADIO”, passes away at the age of 84 in New Jersey of natural causes. Hipolito Vega Torres, best known as “Polito Vega”, was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico in 1938 and moved to New York in 1959 in search of a dream. Years later, Polito became the most recognized and admired voice of radio, and with his 20 years in the #1 station, La Mega, he moved up to another level, with his famous saying “Andando”. Pioneer of radio, he had two successful segments called “Salsa Con Polito” on Saturdays, & “Clásicos Sundays”.
Although his dream was to be a singer, his career took him to be a blessing for many singers and radio listeners. Polito was a very unique man, he dressed the way he wanted to, spoke what he felt, he was genuine in his thoughts and feelings. Polito always had a cap on his head, a charismatic smile and always willing to talk about music. In an interview he admitted that the genre of music that gave him the most satisfaction, was Salsa.
His first radio show was Fiesta Time in 1960 with WEVD-AM, where he confessed that he was scared of talking live on radio, but with time, and the approval of his superiors and audience, he began to have more confidence in his abilities. Although there was a lot of Salsa music in the streets, Polito was the first to play a single on radio of Salsa, in 1960 that entrepreneur, Jerry Masucci, founder of Fania Records, presented to him. The song was “El Campeon”, by Johnny Pacheco, which later on opened the doors for all others.
The death of Polito Vega marks the end of an era, however, his passion for music, for social justice, his smile, and charisma, will live on forever. We are sure that his dear wife, two sons and mascots were waiting for him in heaven, while he leaves here on earth two sons and a daughter.
Polito Vega’s family sent a press release, and in it, was a special message for his followers: “For those of you that loved him, we ask that instead of suffering his loss, that you celebrate his legacy. Polito continues to live in the music that he loved and shared, as well as the impact he left in the Latin community. Polito lived happiness, smiles and love. We would like for all his fans to live life to the fullest, as he did. We would also like to that Raul Alarcon & Albert Rodriguez from SBS, along with everyone who Polito worked with for all the love during these years.Instead of sending gifts, the family as that you consider donating to the following foundations: Alzheimer’s Association or Best Friends Animal Society.
QUOTES FROM COLLEAGUES AND ARTISTS:“Polito Vega will forever be remembered as an icon of Spanish radio and the music industry, a true man of the people and a great friend to those who were lucky enough to have known him personally. His legacy will live on in the hearts of millions of listeners, artists, and friends whose lives he touched on a daily basis for over six decades,”_ stated Raúl Alarcón, Chairman of Spanish Broadcasting System..
Polito was a pioneer of radio who changed the Salsa genre forever, taking a risk and playing the first Salsa song on the air, was something only a visionary like him, would do. Everything that Polito did was with love and total dedication, this is a sad day in Music.” Albert Rodriguez- (SBS President/COO).
“I thank you for everything that you did for Latin Music. Heaven must have received you with an amazing tribute full of flavor and sound. Your legacy will go down in history.”Emilio Estefan
“We say goodbye to the master of radio and personality in the Hispanic community in New York. I remember him as always offering his colleagues love and respect. His voice and style built one of the best alliances for Salsa Music. One of our heroes of the Golden Age of radio, has departed, RIP.” – Gilberto Santa Rosa
“Sadly, Polito has left us the day of my birthday, and I will never forget all of the support he always gave me, he is definitely part of my success.My heart is with his family , and I am sure his legacy will live on forever. He is one of those people that leave us, but will be eternally remembered.” xoxo Rest in Peace India
“We are very sad with the loss of Polito Vega, “King of the Radio, lifelong friend of Celia Cruz. His legacy will continue through his family, friends and generations to come of Salsa lovers. Rest in Peace.”From the estate of Celia Cruz