Arguably the most exceptional vocalist in the history of American pop music, Fernández stood on par with other singers, but it wasn’t until October 11, 1991, that someone had acknowledged this fact. His contributions to the music industry had been acknowledged and celebrated for many years.
Over the course of his five-decade career, Fernández has been recognized and honored with accolades and honors in the world of entertainment. He has even been awarded a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, as well as lifetime achievement awards and regular chart-topping success on Billboard. He has also won prestigious awards such as the Nuestro Lo Premio and Grammys.
He has headlined at Mexico City’s Nacional Auditorio, Toros de Plaza in New York City, Madison Square Garden, and the most prestigious and largest stages in the world, performing with his ensemble mariachi backing and his wide sombrero outfit, which is his trademarked charro attire.
Many regarded Fernández as Mexico’s fourth gallo, or singing rooster.
In 1966, Fernández filled this significant artistic gap. Javier Solis passed away at the age of 34 in 1966, Pedro Infante passed away at the age of 39 in 1957, and Jorge Negrete passed away at the age of 42 in 1953. The remaining three are regarded as the most exceptional singers in Mexican history.
Vicente Fernández, the Mexican cowboy or proud charro, often played that role in dozens of Mexican movies. Throughout the years, he inspired hundreds of imitators, but none could ever match his range and operatic power. With a deep understanding of rural music’s ranchera roots and an operatic range, Vicente Fernández has maintained his standing as Mexico’s greatest living singer for over 40 years.
Fernández will be noted in history books as a towering figure in the evolution of Mexican Regional Music, and as one of the influential and fundamental pioneers of ranchera music. His unending enthusiasm and tireless dedication, along with his artistic integrity, are recognized. Ultimately, he continues to be a critical player in shaping the development and growth of modern ranchera music. Always combining impeccable musicianship with provocative songs, Fernández remains an influential and world-class singer, delivering unforgettable performances.
Across the globe, Fernández is undoubtedly linked to Mexican pride and creativity through the numerous songs that showcase his vocal talents. He holds great influence in the manner in which he has influenced the progress and advancement of ranchera music. His extensive collection of recordings encompasses more than 100 albums.
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Beginning his career by showcasing his talent at eateries and matrimonial ceremonies, this experience instilled in him the self-assurance to secure the top spot. Consequently, at the age of 14, he participated in a singing competition held in Guadalajara.
Alejandra, Alejandro, Gerardo, and Vicente were the four kids that the couple had. María del Refugio “Cuquita” Abarca Villaseñor, his neighbor in Guadalajara, was wed by him on December 27, later that same year. Paula Gómez de Fernández, his mom, passed away from cancer at the age of 47 in early 1963.
During his time on the radio program titled “Amanecer Tapatío” in Guadalajara, Mexico, Felipe Arriaga regularly performed mariachi-themed songs. He was introduced to influential friends, including Luís Aguilar and Pepe Mendoza, who convinced him to work with these groups. As a result, he was tapped as the vocalist for two of Guadalajara’s best mariachi groups, José de Aguilar and Pepe de Mendoza, further advancing his career.
In the late 1965, Fernández, who was always turned down but continued to hang around in hopes of landing an audition, found himself pitching to the major record labels based in the city. He got his foot in the door at XEX, known as the powerhouse AM clear-channel radio station in Mexico that is listened to the most.
“Palabra de Rey,” “Ni en Defensa Propia,” and “Soy de Abajo” were among the other successful songs that came after. Fernández’s career in the music industry had begun. During the summer of 1966, Fernández signed a contract with CBS México (now Sony Music) and recorded his first popular songs: “Tu Camino y El Mío,” “Perdóname,” and “Cantina del Barrio.” Just one week after that, the record labels that had previously rejected Fernández were now reaching out to him. In the early hours of April 19, 1966, Javier Solís, the most renowned bolero-ranchero singer in Mexico, passed away due to complications from gall-bladder surgery. A few months later, Fernández’s life took a permanent turn.
He was building a body of work that showcased his expressive voice and defined modern mariachi music. His early albums, Para el Pueblo del Hijo and El Rey, were successful in the early 1970s. The title song of the movie also became a hit for Fernández. Later, he had his first starring role in the hit film La Ley del Monte. His first film, Uno Contra el Medio Mundo, was also successful. Fernández also branched out into movies, not just content to perform live and make records.
In 1975, Alejandro Fernández, the King of Ranchera music, was admired by fans but was not yet an iconic figure. However, soon after, he became an unquestionable star internationally. Finally, by the end of 1976, his song “Volver, Volver” had broken records in sales and was being played in jukeboxes, houses, and cars all over the Spanish-speaking world. The combination of his magical voice, lyrics, and music made it a truly special song. Fernández personified the protagonist of the song, a man who accepts guilt for a failed relationship. He became an incorrigible ladies’ man and the song became an anthem of a different kind of ranchera. It struck a nerve and introduced a new theme. Fernando Maldonado, the composer, wrote a ranchera that was soon to change the music scene.
Chente, known for his humble refrain, became a stage sensation as long as you don’t stop clapping, even if his singing stops. The Mexican press dubbed him “El Ídolo de México” in the early 1980s.
The ranch exudes a sense of seclusion, enveloped by an irrigation canal. As a tribute to his three sons, Fernández established a sprawling 1,250-acre ranch near Guadalajara in 1980, which he named Los Tres Potrillos (The Three Fillys). Between his recording sessions and tours, Fernández made sure to create a haven for his family.
He was inducted into the Hall of Fame and garnered a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In the 1990s, Alejandro Fernández continued to add hits like “La Mentira” (1998), “Me Voy a Quitar de En Medio” (1998), and “Aunque Me Duela el Alma” (1995) to his recording canon, adding to his repertoire of ranch-centered popular telenovela theme songs.
I’ll pick up a pen and jot down ideas and inspirations when they come to me, however, being a songwriter is a tough job. I’ve never claimed to be one, and as Fernández says, “there are great songs – but not always great composers.” Usually, I leave this job to the experts, but occasionally Fernández writes songs herself, primarily as an interpreter.
Fernández, while putting on complimentary performances at rural festivals, also pays homage to his supporters residing in remote villages and secluded regions of Mexico. Maintaining a steadfast connection to his modest origins, the recognition bestowed upon him acknowledged his artistic accomplishments and his endorsement of the National Hispanic Scholarship Fund. On September 17, 2002, the Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the organizers of the Latin Grammys, bestowed upon him the title of Person of the Year.
“When he’s reached his limit, Fernández says retirement will be in his future. In contrast, Frank Sinatra says he won’t retire anytime soon. Additionally, he won’t perform if he can’t give his best to his fans. “Maybe that’s why I feel so young at heart,” says Fernández, who lives and works on a clean ranch. “I’ve carefully thought about the day I will retire, and I realize how much love and support the people have given me. They mean so much to me.”
Vicente Fernández, a singer, has been recording and touring for over 40 years. His recent achievements are proof of his rise to stardom, which is typically more common among those in the music industry.
“Grammys 2008 saw Siempre Para receive a nomination for Best Ranchera Album, while the song Éstos Celos finished the year as the most-played Mexican Regional song in the US charts. The single spent over three months at No. 1 on the principal airplay charts for Mexican Regional music. Within three months of its release, the album Para Siempre was certified Double Platinum by RIAA in Puerto Rico, the US and Latin markets. In addition, El Rey embarked on one of the biggest Latin music tours in US history to celebrate his 40th anniversary as an official Sony recording artist. Meanwhile, his new song “Me Quedan Todas” was eagerly sought out by avid fans in Mexico, the US, and Latin America. In preparation for Vicente Fernández’s 40th-anniversary as a music legend, Sony Music released a three-CD collection titled La Leyenda Viviente (The Living Legend), featuring his greatest hits, along with 35 classic and brand-new songs in the mariachi music canon. The collection includes instant classics such as “Vaquero, del Tragedia La” and “Mi De Lejos,” showcasing the timeless appeal of mariachi music.”Output: “At the 2008 Grammys, Siempre Para received a nomination for the Best Ranchera Album, while the song Éstos Celos finished the year as the most-played Mexican Regional song on the US charts. The single spent more than three months at No. 1 on the main airplay charts for Mexican Regional music. Within three months of its release, the album Para Siempre achieved Double Platinum certification from RIAA in Puerto Rico, the US, and Latin markets. Additionally, El Rey embarked on one of the largest Latin music tours in US history to commemorate his 40th anniversary as an official recording artist for Sony. Meanwhile, his new song “Me Quedan Todas” was eagerly sought after by passionate fans in Mexico, the US, and Latin America. In preparation for Vicente Fernández’s 40th-anniversary as a music legend, Sony Music released a three-CD collection titled La Leyenda Viviente (The Living Legend), which includes his greatest hits, as well as 35 classic and new songs in the mariachi music canon. The collection features instant classics like “Vaquero, del Tragedia La” and “Mi De Lejos,” showcasing the timeless appeal of mariachi music.”
The network achieved its highest ratings ever with the airing of Televisa’s hit telenovela “Fuego en la Sangre,” which had its principal song. The track titled “Para Siempre” continued the success.
In 2009, he continued his streak of winning awards, receiving the Latin Billboard Award and Lo Nuestro Premio. In the fall of 2008, he also won a Grammy Latin, further adding to his impressive list of achievements. His CD/DVD release, Fila Primera, became the top-selling musical DVD in the U.S. That year, showcasing his talent in any genre.
He released his latest studio album in July 2009, with the title-track “You Need Me” climbing to the top of the charts, while still remaining at the forefront of mariachi music.
In 2005, is the site of the LXI Championship Charro National Congress. The facility, which is completely enclosed and modern, is located on Vicente Fernández’s ranch, Three Fillys (Potrillos Tres Los), just outside Guadalajara. With a capacity of 11,000, this area is popular for concerts, sporting events, and rodeos. The Arena Gómez Fernández Vicente, built in 2005, was created to honor Vicente Fernández’s admiration and love for horsemanship, performances, and country music.
In the 2010s, Vicente Fernández remained as interesting, prolific, and ubiquitous as ever, earning Gold and Platinum certifications in the U.S. And Mexico for his re-release of the 2009 album “Necesito de Ti,” which features 13 video and audio tracks in CD+DVD configuration.
He also won Univision’s Lo Nuestro Premio for Latin Music Artist of the Year and received multiple recognitions for his popularity and the quality of his album Ti de Necesito. In 2010, he was awarded the Best Ranchera Album at the Latin Grammy Awards. In November 2009, he was also given three trophies at Oye Premios Mexico, making Ti de Necesito one of the most important and acclaimed Latin albums of 2009.
The performance at the historic stage in the bay was kept dry by Tlaloc, the Aztec god of showers, more than any other legend. To prevent the proceedings from being constantly dampened by rain, he performed there for a crowd of 54,000 people standing in a packed bullring for two hours. This iconic concert of Vicente Fernández, released on DVD as “Mexico en Mexicano Un” by Sony Music in 2010, dipped abundantly into the rich history of Mexico.
Right back on the scene, Vicente Fernández released his groundbreaking studio album “El Amor Te Más Que El Hombre” in September 2010. Despite having nothing to prove, he took a major step forward by serving as a producer for the first time in his career. He tapped into the talents of aspiring young songwriters, proving himself once again. “El Amor Te Más Que El Hombre” won the Latin Grammy for Best Ranchera Album in 2011 – speaking for the results they achieved but also taking a risk.
LEGACY Vicente Fernández is still the most popular singer, not just in the ranchera genre, but in all of Regional Mexican music.
Mexico and across the globe endear him to his fans, his artistry, and his commitment to his enduring career. Fernández pushes the boundaries of music and mariachi, leaving an indelible mark with his unforgettable music and commanding voice. He continues to expand his impressive discography, leaving a lasting impact.
Vicente Fernández is regarded as a pioneer in Mexican music, similar to how B.B. King is to blues, Hank Williams is to country, and Woody Guthrie is to folk.
The most recent release is Otra Vez, which includes all of the tracks composed by Joan Sebastian. This is why it is titled as such! El Rey, a collaboration between talented individuals, is produced for the second time by Joan Sebastian. In November 2011, Vicente Fernández and his producer Joan Sebastian recorded the album in studios owned by Vicente Fernández as well as those located in the Mexican states of Jalisco and Morelos. Vicente Fernández surpasses his previous work with Otra Vez (Once Again), which was released in November 2011.
Sebastian Joan and Fernández Vicente, like skilled maestros, delight in a beguiling fusion that is unique to them. In his first time, Fernández Vicente incorporates electric guitar into his ranchera music, which we can savor in the rhythmic treat of his debut single “Dormidos Volcanes” (Sleeping Volcanoes).
Each hopeful artist is a master. And as time goes by, they mature like a fine bottle of wine. Vicente Fernández, who we once again honor – Otra Vez – embodies a unique style, vocal enthusiasm, and flawless studio work.
He is “El Rey,” the Living Legend – he is Vicente Fernández.