Cuban singing veteran NOEL NICOLA has died of cancer in Havana, Cuba. He was 58.

The much loved pioneer passed away on Sunday (07AUG05) and was buried the next day (08AUG05) - the same day fellow Cuban superstar Ibrahim Ferrer was laid to rest.

Nicola, born and bred in the Cuban capital, was hailed as one of the founders of modern Cuban trovas music, or protest songs, throughout the 1960s and beyond.

The late star toured over 30 countries during his prolific career, and latterly composed film and theatre scores.