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Subject: Polo Montañez, 47, Cuban Folk Singer

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Date Posted: November 28, 2002 2:29:37 EDT

The Cuban singer Polo Montañez, whose country-style music was hugely popular throughout Latin America, died on Tuesday night from head injuries suffered in a car crash, his recording company said today. He was 47.

A spokesman for Lusafrica, the record company, said Mr. Montañez died at a military hospital here. He had been in a coma after suffering severe injuries in the accident, which occurred on Nov. 20. He was driving a group of relatives home from a family party when his car collided with a tractor-trailer on a highway outside here.

His stepson, Mirel González García, 25, was killed, and Mr. Montañez's wife, Adis García, was injured.

Mr. Montañez, whose real name was Fernando Borrego, came from a humble, provincial background to become a musical hit three years ago.

He described his song "Guarijo Natural," which topped the charts in Latin America, as a "self-portrait" of a simple country boy who falls in love and enjoys life.

Mr. Montañez's success began in Colombia in the late 1990's. Later he toured Latin America, where he gained a huge following, and Europe.

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