Inside Carlos Santana's Tragic Relationship With His Mother

(The following article includes mentions of sexual assault.)

Aside from his recent health scare, Carlos Santana seemingly has it all. He found critical and commercial success with his band and as a solo artist throughout the late 1960s and '70s. His eponymous band was even inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. The following year, Santana experienced a late-career renaissance with 1999's "Supernatural" album, sweeping the Grammy Awards and taking home eight golden gramophones. 

Collaborations with then-popular artists like Rob Thomas, Lauryn Hill, and Michelle Branch introduced the iconic guitarist to a new generation, expanding his influence even more. Santana also has three adult children, all with musical talents of their own, and he's been happily married to his second wife, drummer Cindy Blackman Santana, since 2010.

However, things haven't always been so "Smooth" sailing for the rock legend. Although Santana was close to his mother growing up, their relationship was often shaky and they went years without communicating about their issues. While they eventually reconciled, it took a lot of work for the mother-son pair to get back in tune with each other.

Carlos Santana's mother mishandled his assault

In a 2014 interview with The Guardian, Carlos Santana opened up about his tense relationship with his late mother, Josefina. As his father was absent for much of his early life, Santana's mother ran a tight ship to compensate. Santana told the outlet, "She would come into a room, clear her throat and everybody would pay attention. We were very scared of her."

Once Santana was older, they became estranged. "There were six or seven things that I fell out with my mom about. That separation lasted from 1962 to 1981," he recalled. "She didn't have the skills and tools to communicate. She was either angry or more angry. For a while, I was like her, which didn't go well in the same house. I felt like I was being bullied."

While Santana credited their falling-out to a multitude of reasons, there's one above the rest. After he was molested by a family friend, his mother told his siblings and made him feel like it was his fault. When he eventually tried to forgive her, it didn't go over so well. "Her face immediately went like a lioness ready to attack, like, 'What do you have to forgive me about?,'" the musician said.

Thankfully, Santana and his mother were able to make amends. He dedicated his memoir "The Universal Tone: Bringing My Story To Light" to her, saying, "I think she probably prayed for me more than anyone to keep me from getting lost," (via NPR).

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).