Awhile ago I blogged about the curious case of Heath Ledger, whose career is hotter than ever months after his death. Now comes the story of Sergio Gomez, formerly lead singer of the band K-Paz de La Sierra until his violent death five months ago after a concert in Mexico. As the Chicago Tribune reported April 21, “Gomez’s murder has elevated him to an icon from Chicago to his hometown in the hills of Michoacan state. Like other doomed celebrities, a mythology has formed around Gomez since his death.”
According to the Tribune, the band K-Paz has seen album sales skyrocket, and a movie about Gomez’s life is in the works. K-Paz has replaced Gomez and is going stronger than ever.
As was the case with Heath Ledger, the death of Gomez has some important elements that have made his star shine brighter to bloggers and news media: he died unexpectedly and while he was young; his murder was (and remains) controversial; and, perhaps most importantly, he was a genuine talent possibly on his way to stardom. As we’ve seen time and again, lost potential is the kind of story that even the most stodgy news media love the most, even more so than potential realized
While Gomez’s death remains unsolved, this much remains undisputed: K-Paz has sold more than 300,000 albums since December 2007, or nearly half as much as the band sold in its entire career up to that point.