Trinh Cong Son, 62, Vietnam's most beloved singer-songwriter and an artist who had opposed the Vietnam War and sought postwar reconciliation, died April 1 at a hospital here. He had diabetes.

Son, who was persecuted by the South Vietnamese government in the late 1960s and early 1970s, wrote more than 600 songs during his career.

Son was dubbed the "Bob Dylan of Vietnam" by American folk singer Joan Baez for his anti-war songs during the height of the Vietnam War. His music is still widely performed in Vietnam and in overseas Vietnamese communities.

His pacifist songs about the futility of war were banned at the time, but bootleg copies made their way throughout South Vietnam and overseas.

One of his most famous songs, "Lullaby" (Ngu Di Con), about the pain of a mother mourning her soldier son, became a hit in Japan in 1972.

When the war ended, most of Son's family fled overseas, but he decided to stay.

He was equally unpopular with the new Communist government for his songs about reconciliation and spent 10 years in forced labor "reeducation camps" as a result.

His popularity had returned by the late 1980s, and his songs are still performed by some of Vietnam's biggest pop artists, including singer Hong Nhung.

Son, who was born in the Central Highland province of Daklak, spent many years in the ancient imperial capital of Hue. Trained as a teacher, he quit his job to begin composing love songs in the late 1950s.