Vicente Fernández, ‘El Rey’ of Mexican music Ranchera, dead at 81

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Vicente Fernández was born on February 17, 1940 in Huentitán El Alto, in the state of Jalisco, in west-central Mexico. His father, Ramón Fernández, was a breeder and his mother, Paula Gómez de Fernández, stayed at home to raise their son.

He grew up watching morning movies featuring Mexican ranchera singer Pedro Infante, an early influence. At the age of 8, he received his first guitar and began to study folk music. He left school in fifth grade and then moved with his family to Tijuana after their cattle ranching business collapsed. He told the Los Angeles Times in 1999 that he took whatever he could, laying bricks and shining shoes, and even doing the dishes.

“I’ve always said that I got to where I am not by being a great singer, but by being stubborn, by being tenacious, by being stubborn,” Fernández said.

He went to a public square in Guadalajara called Mariachi Plaza, where he performed for tips, he told the Los Angeles Times. His career took off after winning a competition called La Calandria Musical at the age of 19, he said in a 2010 interview with KENS 5 in San Antonio. He moved to Mexico City where he sang in restaurants and at weddings, and unsuccessfully performed at local record companies.

The labels appealed soon after the death in 1966 of Javier Solís, one of Mexico’s most popular singers specializing in bolero and ranchera music. Mr Fernández went on to record his first albums, including hits like “Volver, Volver”, which elevated him to a level of fame he had never envisioned, he told KENS 5. D ‘Other hits, including “El Rey” and “Lástima que seas ajena”, would follow.

“When I started my career, I always had the confidence that I would get there one day, but I never imagined that I would reach the heights that the public has placed me in,” Mr. Fernández.


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