Steve Salas who is a founding member of the pioneering Eastside rock band Tierra and an early-day Chicano rights activist, has died after battling myeloma for two years and recently contracted COVID-19. Salas died on Thursday. He was 69.
The musician was predeceased by his brother Rudy, Tierra’s lead singer and co-founder, who died in 2020, also after contracting COVID-19.
“Steve and Rudy created the soundtrack for many people’s lives, and we are so grateful to everyone who loved their music,” band and family members said in a statement. “The Salas Brothers left an indelible mark on the history of Chicano music with Tierra.”
Steve Salas Cause of Death: How Did Steve Salas Die?
Steve Salas died on February 10, 2022, at the age of 69 after two-year battle with myeloma and also contracting COVID-19 in the time leading up to his death.
Who Was Steve Salas?
Steve Salas attended Lincoln High School, where he was student body president, and participated in the historic student’s walkouts in 1968 that helped ignite the Chicano power movement. After graduating, he received a full academic scholarship to Stanford University.
He stayed less than two years before returning to Lincoln Heights and joined his brother as a member of the Chicano R&B group El Chicano. In 1972, El Chicano released “Celebration,” in which Steve Salas and Freddie Sanchez were the featured vocalists in a cover of Van Morrison’s famed “Brown Eyed Girl.” Their version of the song climbed to No. 45 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart that year, according to El Chicano’s website.