The beloved Mexican singer, 66, died after suffering a heart attack at his home in Santa Monica, California last month (Aug16), and while a number of Latin stars have sent their condolences and heaped praise on Gabriel, Paulina has written a touching essay honouring him.

Calling him "my friend, my mentor, my fairy godmother, my everything", Rubio reveals she had to do something special because Juan had been a part of her life since she was young, and he was friends with both her grandmother and her actress mum Susana Dosamantes, one of Juan's closest confidants.

Juan, who lovingly called Paulina "mi nina adorada (my adored girl)", would spend many evenings at her home for big "bohemian" gatherings that would feature endless sing-alongs with artists such as Lupita D'alessio, Angelica Maria, and Camilo Sesto, but Paulina's favourite memory of Juan comes from her 2007 wedding to her now-ex-husband Nicolas Colate.

"I knew he was coming to the reception because he was one of the guests of honor and a witness at the ceremony," she writes. "We had already sat down for dinner when someone said, 'We have a surprise for you', and this mariachi walked into the dining room.

"We weren’t supposed to have a mariachi play at that moment because it was a sit-down dinner with classical music. But Juan Gabriel had flown in his 35-piece mariachi (orchestra) - he got up with them and he sang for three hours!"

Paulina went on to describe her admiration for his "lyrics, his songs, his personality", as well as the advice and support he always gave her, adding he was "happy to see me in love again," after finding romance with singer Gerardo Bazua in 2013.

She also revealed what was said the last time she saw him in person, saying, "He told me, 'Enjoy me, because I’m getting old. I’m tired. Visit me, call me, don’t get lost'. I would tell him not to get depressed, that he wasn’t alone."

Paulina ended the moving tribute by praising her beloved friend, writing, "His legacy is his art, his music. He was very eclectic and created melodies even in his sleep. He would wake up in the middle of the night with a melody and grab his cell phone or his recorder. But he felt most complete when he was in front of his audience.

"He loved to work, and he never wanted to leave the stage because it was important for him that everyone be happy. That’s my lasting impression. For me, he was invincible."