Cuban singer Ibrahim Ferrer, known worldwide for his work on the 'Buena Vista Social Club' project, has died at the age of 78.

Ferrer, who had just completed a month-long tour of Europe, checked into a Havana hospital a few days ago with symptoms of gastroenteritis.

Ferrer's recent tour took him to the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria and Britain.  

Ferrer was in semi-retirement and shining shoes for money when he was recruited to participate in the 'Buena Vista Social Club' sessions.  

US musician and producer Ry Cooder travelled to Havana in the late 1990s to unite ageing greats of Cuban music, producing a CD and later a documentary film with German director Wim Wenders to worldwide acclaim.  

The album won a Grammy in 1998, and in 2004, Ferrer won a Grammy for best traditional salsa album for his 'Buenos Hermanos.'

But Ferrer was unable to attend the ceremony because the United States refused to grant him a visa.  

Ferrer was born on February 20, 1927, in the southeastern city of Santiago de Cuba, a region known for its musical tradition.