Arroyo had been ill for months with heart, lung and kidney problems. His wife said the singer died “peacefully” in Barranquilla, another Colombian city on the Caribbean coast.
Arroyo began singing in brothels in the Caribbean city of Cartagena at the age of eight and went on to sing for a number of Colombia’s most famous salsa groups.
He rose to fame in the 1970s, singing in the band Fruko y Sus Tesos, before later setting up his own band, La Verdad – “The Truth.”
He was up for a lifetime achievement award at this year’s Latin Grammy Awards.