Jukebox queens Eva Eugenio, Imelda Papin mourn passing of good friend Claire dela Fuente

Photo from Eva Eugenio's Facebook account

MANILA — OPM icons Eva Eugenio and Imelda Papin paid tribute to their good friend and fellow "Jukebox Queen" Claire dela Fuente, who passed away on Tuesday morning.

The triumvirate of Eugenio, Papin and Dela Fuente found fame during the 1970s for their emotional ballads which were among the most popular songs played in jukeboxes across the country.

On her Facebook account, Eugenio said she will miss Dela Fuente, who is also the godmother of her daughter.

“I will truly miss you, my dear friend. I will miss all our chikahan, laitan, tawanan at kantahan. Thank you for being a good friend, and a good godmother to my daughter,” she said in the caption.

“Rest in peace, kumare. Jukebox Queens will not be complete without you.”

Papin, on the other hand, was shocked with the untimely passing of the “Sayang” hitmaker, stressing how healthy Dela Fuente was.

“Unexpected ito talaga. Siya pa na pinakamalakas ang loob sa aming tatlo, matapang at parang kayang kaya niya lahat,” Papin said.

She also vouched for the kindness of the late singer and admitted she will miss her.

“And yet siya pa ang tinamaan ng COVID. Hindi ko na alam kung ano ang pinapakita ng Diyos dahil kahit sino tatamaman ng COVID. Mabait siyang kaibigan, mami-miss ko siya — sobra!”

Dela Fuente died due to cardiac arrest early Tuesday morning at the age of 63, her son Gigo confirmed to ABS-CBN News.

Gigo said his mom, who was admitted in the hospital after testing positive for COVID-19, died in her sleep. He also shared that his mom had pre-existing conditions like anxiety, hypertension and diabetes.

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