Betty Pino, a well-known personality in Miamis Latin music radio, died Tuesday at Jackson Memorial Hospital of a bacterial infection. Pino was 65.
The Ecuadorean disc jockey had been under an induced coma since July 15 when she was admitted to Doctors Hospital in Coral Gables. She died surrounded by her daughters, Cristina and Beatriz, and her brothers.
Dubbed the Queen of Radio by her fans, Pinos final job was hosting a weekly show on radio station Amor 107.5 FM, where she commented on the latest music scene news, but Pino had been on the radio in South Florida since the late 1970s and had helped promote the careers of many Latin singers and fellow DJs.
We had known each other for more than 30 years, said colleague Javier Romero, who considered Pino his godmother, helping him in the early days of his career. She was the first to give me a chance to do a morning drive show."
The co-host of The Breakfast... on Love 107.5 FM and Univisions Sabado Gigante, said Pino helped promote the careers of countless Latin American singing stars in South Florida.
When Miami was a hot bed of Latin talent, Betty was a very important bridge," Romero said.
Among the talent Pino helped promote: Julio Iglesias, Raphael and Dyango.
Osvaldo Vega, co-host of The Breakfast ... said that Pino had a special knack for spotting promising talent.
She knew what artist would be successful by listening to them sing just once, Vega said. "In her personal dealings, I never saw her be in a bad mood.
From Brazil, where he is working with his wife, Gloria Estefan, producer Emilio Estefan said Pinos death "is a great loss for Latin music." He said Pino was the first DJ to play songs fromMiami Sound Machines first album, Renacer (1977).
"Her death is a great pity. Betty was the first DJ to play us and promote us as local talent, Estefan said. "We will always be grateful."
In his Facebook page singer Dyango wrote: "Today is very painful for me... Pino was one of the greatest persons Ive ever met; she helped my career immensely.
Funeral arragements are pending.
There will be a celebration of life Mass in Pinos honor at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday led by Rev. Pedro Sanchez at Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, 900 SW 26th Rd.