Vicente Fernandez, a Mexican whose ranchera music made him an icon in Latin America and several other countries around the world has died at the age of 81. His timeless folk music exemplified the grit and romance of his homeland. His anthems spoke of love, heartbreak and heroes from everyday life.
Fernandez was a source of comfort in both good and bad times. With his smooth baritone, his ornate sombreros and his well fitting trousers and beautiful embroidered jackets, he cut a dashing, yet colorful figure who entertained many with appearance as well as voice.
Although he was considered to be a constant performer from decades, ill health finally caught up with him. He had been ailing in the recent months. His Instagram page announced that he died on Sunday and that he was 81 years old. A cause of death was not mentioned. However, previous posts on his account indicated that he had a spinal injury and had been hospitalized.
A huge number of mourners including fellow mariachis as well as fans assembled outside his huge ranch near Guadalajara. Some of them sang his songs while others placed flowers at the massive brick entrance gate, in honor of Fernandez, on Sunday.
The beloved Mexican singer had a powerful voice and also gave marathon performances that spanned three hours. He was fondly called”Chente.” He performed at several international venues with his mariachi band and can be credited for popularizing ranchera music all over the world.
He dropped several albums and recorded hundreds of songs in a career that spanned more than sixty years. He sold more than 50 million copies of his albums. He also starred in a few movies.
According to the New York Times, some of his important accolades include
an inclusion in the Billboard Latin Music Hall of Fame
a star on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame
three Grammy awards
eight Latin Grammy awards.
Some of his greatest hits include
Lastima que seas ajena
Por Tu Maldito Amor.
His death on Sunday, December 12 was the day when Mexicans celebrated the feast of the Virgin de Guadalupe. On this day the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to Juan Diego. Diego is an indigenous Mexican who has reportedly seen the last of several apparitions, according to NBC News.
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