Iconic Mexican singer Vicente Fernandez, 81, died at 6:15 a.m. Sunday at a hospital in the western Mexican city of Guadalajara, according to a post posted on his official Instagram account.
The ranch star was in poor health after a fall in August that forced him to undergo cervical surgery.
Known locally as El Rey, the king of Mexican music, Vicente Fernandez recorded more than 300 songs, sold more than 65 million albums worldwide, won three Grammys and eight Latin Grammys.
He was best known for his songs “Volver, Volver”, “Por Tu Maldito Amor” and “El Rey”.
Vicente Fernández, who has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, was named Person of the Year by the Latin Recording Academy in 2002.
Vicente Fernandez was going through a “critical moment”
The health condition of the Mexican singer Vicente Fernández “was critical” said a medical statement published on Saturday morning.
“In the last 12 hours, Mr. Vicente Fernández presented an exacerbation of his state of health. He presents greater inflammation of his lower respiratory tract and increased respiratory support,” said in a statement that was shared on the singer’s official Instagram account.
Previously, his son, Vicente Fernández Jr., said that his father is going through a “critical moment” in his health.
Without giving more details, from the Hospital Country 2000, in Guadalajara, Fernández Jr. told local media that the artist “is delicate.” “As you have been told, we ask for a lot of prayer,” he added.
Faced with rumors on social networks that the artist had passed away, Fernández Jr. said they were false.
For months, Vicente Fernández has been in poor health after a fall that forced him to undergo cervical surgery.
On November 30, an official statement from his team reported that due to inflammation in his respiratory tract, the artist needs respiratory support.
A race of glory
On October 6, 2019, in one of his last appearances, Mexican singer Vicente Fernandez said: “As long as my throat holds, I am yours until the day God picks me up.”
Guadalajara, the city where he was born, paid tribute to him by unveiling an equestrian statue erected in the heart of the Plaza de los Maricahis, the site where the Mexican idol began his career.
Vicente Fernandez was born in Huentitán el Alto, a town on the then periphery of Guadalajara, the capital of Jalisco, in western Mexico, on February 17, 1940, according to the biography published on the singer’s official website.
Vicente Fernandez comes from a humble background. At the age of eight he received a guitar with which he learned the first chords that brought him closer to his idols Pedro Infante and Javier Solís, as he has stated in several interviews.
He was still a teenager when he began to sing “Guadalajara” in traditional Mexican food restaurants and in the Plaza de los Mariachis, where local people from Guadalajara hire mariachis to liven up parties or bring serenades.
It was in 1966 when, after trying his luck at restaurants, parties and television contests, he signed his first record deal with CBS Mexico (today Sony Music), with which he recorded “Your way and mine”, “Not in self-defense” and “Forgive me”, among others.
His arrival at the cinema in 1971, with the film “One and a half against the world”, and three years later “The law of the mountain”, would further boost his career; However, it was not until 1976 when “Volver, Volver”, his iconic song, came to pass, with which the legend would transcend and begin to be written.
After four decades of experience and obtaining national and international awards, breaking sales records and performing on the most recognized stages, Vicente Fernández is not only loved and recognized in his land, but also in Latin America, the United States and Europe, where , regardless of language or culture, they sing with the same feeling “return, return, return”.
Travis M. Andrews is a features writer for The Washington Post. He joined The Post in 2016 as a reporter for Morning Mix. He was previously a travel and culture editor for Southern Living magazine, a contributing pop culture reporter for Mashable and the Week, and a contributing editor for the Syfy blog Dvice. He also has freelanced for magazines, including Esquire, GQ and Time. He is the author of the coming book “Because He’s Jeff Goldblum,” a semi-rumination and semi-ridiculous look at the career of the enigmatic actor and an exploration of the shifting nature of fame in the 21st century, to be published in November by Plume.