February 17, 2023


Vicente Fernández: A Mexican Musical Icon

Vicente Fernández - A Mexican Legend

In this tribute, we celebrate the life and legacy of Vicente Fernández Gómez, a renowned musician whose powerful voice, guitar skills, and mariachi performances transcended borders, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of fans worldwide. Vicente Fernández was born on February 17, 1940, in the humble town of Huentitlán El Alto, in Jalisco, Mexico. His journey from modest beginnings to becoming a wealthy and celebrated Mexican folk performer is a captivating story of talent, determination, and passion.

Recognized as "El Charro de Huentitán," Vicente Fernández's lyrical mastery of themes such as love and heartbreak stretched across an impressive span of over five decades. His prolific and enduring career is unanimously regarded as an integral pillar of Mexican popular music.

Early Inspiration

When Vicente Fernández was young, he frequented movie theaters to watch Mexican Golden Age Cinema classics, starring icons like Pedro Infante and Jorge Negrete. He once confided in his mother, proclaiming, "When I grow up, I'm going to be like them." Little did he know that he would not only follow in their footsteps but also surpass their fame.

The Rise to Stardom

Vicente Fernández's rise to fame coincided with the untimely passing of another Mexican music legend, Javier Solís, in 1966. This pivotal moment in Mexican music history opened doors for Fernández, allowing him to fill the void left by Solís while continuing the tradition of heartfelt ranchera music. It was in 1966 that Vicente Fernández signed his first contract with CBS Mexico, marking the beginning of an extraordinary career.

Musical Legacy

With his distinctive style and heartfelt connection to traditional Mexican folk music, Vicente Fernández became one of the greatest musicians of his genre. 

Back in the early fall of 1991, Vicente Fernández was in Houston, Texas for one of his U.S. tours. On the day of his concert at the historic Hofheinz Pavilion, The Houston Chronicle, a national newspaper, had a big headline calling him the "Sinatra of Rancheras." [1]

Vicente Fernández’s first album was “Camino Inseguro,” you can listen here!

His albums, including "Mi Querido Viejo" and "Por tu Maldito Amor," solidified his status as an iconic representative of Mexican folk music. His songs, such as "Volver Volver," "Lástima que seas ajena," and "Me voy a quitar de en medio," have become timeless classics that have touched the lives of people not only in Latin America but also in the United States.

Personal Stories

Countless individuals have cherished memories associated with Vicente Fernández's music. Leticia Castro, a Latina immigrant and American resident, shared her experience, saying, "I remember that when I was 10 years old, my sister and I sang 'Mujeres' at the top of our lungs. We danced and had fun, and 11 years ago, I went to see him in Denver and relived all that. I had a great time." Vicente Fernández's music has a unique ability to transcend generations and bring families together through its emotional resonance.

Legacy Beyond the 1990s

While Vicente Fernández's heyday is often associated with the 1990s, with hits like "Mujeres divinas," "Aquí entre nos," and "La mentira," his impact on contemporary culture is undeniable. His music has become a cherished tradition, connecting generations and preserving cultural heritage. As long as his songs continue to play, Chente's legacy remains eternal.

Vicente Fernandez album

Impact on Mexican Culture

Vicente Fernández's influence extends beyond the realm of music. He is not only a musical icon but also a cultural ambassador for Mexico. His mariachi performances, iconic charro outfits, and deep connection to Mexican traditions have made him a symbol of national pride. Fernández's music has been featured in numerous Mexican films and telenovelas, further cementing his role in shaping Mexican culture.

Global Reach

Vicente Fernández's appeal goes far beyond Mexico's borders. His tours took him to stages around the world, where he captivated audiences with his soul-stirring performances. He played a pivotal role in introducing traditional Mexican ranchera music to international audiences, earning fans from diverse backgrounds.

Honors and Awards

Throughout his illustrious career, Vicente Fernández received numerous accolades and awards, including four Grammy Awards, nine Latin Grammy Awards, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He sold over 50 million records worldwide.[1] His contributions to music and culture were officially recognized by the Mexican government when he was awarded the National Prize for Arts and Sciences in the Popular Art and Traditions category.

Vicente Fernández Hollywood Star of Fame

Vicente Fernández With His Hollywood Star of Fame

A Philanthropic Heart

Beyond his musical achievements, Vicente Fernández was known for his philanthropic endeavors. He supported various charitable causes, including education and healthcare initiatives in Mexico. His commitment to giving back to his community and helping those in need exemplifies the generous spirit that endeared him to fans.

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His Legacy

Vicente Fernández's influence on the world of music and culture is immeasurable. His music has not only achieved fame but also elevated him to the status of a cultural icon and a global ambassador for Mexican traditions. It's a reminder of our roots, a connection to our heritage, and a soundtrack to our most cherished memories. Vicente Fernández will forever hold a special place in the hearts of countless admirers, ensuring that his legacy lives on.

His Passing

Fernández passed away on December 12, 2021, at the age of 81, succumbing to complications arising from his injuries. In the wake of his passing, condolences and tributes poured in from both national and international figures. President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, expressed his mourning in a heartfelt tweet, acknowledging Fernández as the "emblematic figure of ranchera music in our era, renowned and celebrated in Mexico and across the world."

Colombian President Iván Duque reflected, stating, "His departure saddens us, and his legacy will endure eternally." U.S. President Joe Biden added, "The world of music has lost an icon." On social media, leaders including President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela, Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe, and Bolivia's Evo Morales, along with numerous Mexican and Latin American entertainment luminaries, extended their sympathies.

Even former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton acknowledged Fernández, describing him as "a musical icon and a man of great character." [1 ] 

His passing occurred on the day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico, to whom Fernández held deep devotion.