José Padilla, Ibiza DJ and chillout music pioneer, has died

He died of colon cancer at the age of 64.

Spanish DJ José Padilla has died after a battle with colon cancer. The longtime DJ at bar Café Del Mar and chillout music pioneer was 64 years old.

A post to Padilla’s Facebook page on Monday (October 19) confirmed that he had died in his sleep on Sunday in Ibiza. As Resident Advisor notes, he had revealed his cancer diagnosis in July, and started a crowdfunding campaign to cover his living expenses.

“My situation is very bad,” he had written in its description. “I am completely broken after five months with no income whatsoever and no way to pay my rent.”


According to updates on the GoFundMe campaign, Padilla was preparing for an operation in the last two weeks of July, and by August 20 was out of the hospital and “on the long road to recovery.”

In the Facebook post made on Monday, Padilla’s family thanked “everybody who sent donations and messages of support to help make his last few months easier, and to all the staff of Can Misses Hospital for taking care of him until the end.”

It added, “Now he has gone and the sunset in Ibiza will never be the same without him , but the beautiful music of Jose Padilla will stay with us forever. Adiós maestro…”


Hola amigos . It is with great sadness that we bring you the news that José passed away peacefully in his sleep on…

Posted by José Padilla on Monday, October 19, 2020

Padilla was born in Girona, near Barcelona, in 1955, and became a DJ when he was a teenager. He moved to Ibiza in 1976 at the age of 21, working first as a waiter then cutting his teeth as a DJ in various venues around the island. In 1991, he took up residency at Café Del Mar, and gained fame for his sunset sets of ambient and chillout music that played a key role in the development of the Balearic beat.

In 1998, he released his first album, Souvenir. His second album, 2001’s Navigator, received a Latin Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Album.

RIP, José Padilla. Revisit his 1995 BBC Radio Essential Mix:

Don't miss