MEXICO CITY (AP) — Vicente Fernández, a beloved Mexican singer who was awarded three Grammys and nine Latin Grammys and inspired a new generation of performers, including his son Alejandro Fernández Jr., died on Sunday. His age was 81.
Fernández was known for hits such as “El Rey,” “Volver, Volver” and “Lástima que seas ajena,” and his command of the ranchera and mariachi styles of music attracted fans far beyond Mexico’s borders.
“It was an honor and a great pride to share with everyone a great musical career and give everything for the audience,” Fernández’s family said on his official Instagram account. “Thank you for continuing to applaud, thank you for continuing to sing.”
Fernández, known also by his nickname “Chente,” died at 6:15 a.m. in a hospital in Jalisco state, his family said. There were no plans for a funeral. His death was announced after he suffered from a severe fall in August. He has been admitted to hospital for this and many other conditions.
“One of the most important artists of Mexican popular culture, the undisputed symbol of ranchera music, dies. A million mariachis accompany you on your way, ” Alejandra Frausto, Mexico’s culture secretary, said on Twitter.
She alluded to the fact that Fernández often sang on Dec. 12 to mark the Catholic pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, an event that attracts vast crowds. After the last year’s cancellation due to pandemic, Sunday was chosen for this commemoration.
Fernández sold more than 50 million records and appeared in more than 30 films. Fernandez said farewell to Azteca Stadium, Mexico City in April 2016. For this occasion, spectators had traveled from all over the world to Mexico and Colombia.