Music icon

Mexican music icon Vicente Fernández dies aged 81

MEXICO CITY (AP)

Vicente Fernández, a beloved Mexican singer who received three Grammys and nine Latin Grammys and inspired a new generation of artists, including his son Alejandro Fernández Jr., died Sunday. He was 81 years old.

Fernández was known for hits such as “El Rey”, “Volver, Volver” and “Lástima que seas ajena”, and his mastery of ranchera and mariachi music styles attracted fans far beyond Mexican borders.

“It was an honor and a great pride to share with everyone a great musical career and to give everything for the public,” Fernández’s family said on their official Instagram account. “Please keep clapping, please keep singing.”

Fernández, also known by his nickname “Chente”, died at 6:15 a.m. in a hospital in the state of Jalisco, his family announced. Funeral plans have not been announced. In August, he suffered a serious fall and has since been hospitalized for that and other ailments.

“One of the most important artists of Mexican popular culture, undisputed symbol of ranchera music, dies. A million mariachis accompany you on your way,” said Alejandra Frausto, Mexico’s Culture Secretary, on Twitter.

She alluded to the fact that Fernández often sang on December 12 to mark the Catholic pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, an event that draws vast crowds. The commemoration was taking place on Sunday after being canceled last year due to the pandemic.

Fernández has sold over 50 million records and appeared in over 30 films. In April 2016, he said goodbye to performing in front of an estimated 85,000 people at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. Spectators had come from northern Mexico as well as the United States, Colombia and other Latin American countries for the occasion.

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