Vicente Fernandez, whose five-decade career in ranchera music and film made him an essential part of Mexican pop culture, died Sunday at the age of 81, according to a message posted on his official Instagram account.
Fernandez had been suffering medical complications after a fall at his home this summer that injured his cervical spine and required an operation.
Nicknamed “El Charro de Huentitan” for the town where he was born in the western state of Jalisco, he was best known for his songs “Volver, Volver,” “Por Tu Maldito Amor,” and “El Rey.”
In 2016, Fernandez retired from the stage with a final concert of nearly 50 songs at Mexico City’s Azteca stadium.
The Latin Recording Academy and Recording Academy issued a joint statement mourning Fernandez.
“With heavy hearts, we bid adiós to Regional Mexican legend and cultural icon Vicente “Chente” Fernández. For more than 60 years, the singer, producer and actor brought the musical traditions of his beloved country to audiences worldwide through his amazing performances and his gifted voice, which featured impressive operatic power and range.The statement continued, “A man of hard work, Fernández was true to his word. Even after formally retiring in 2016, he continued performing and making music. In a 2002 interview with The Latin Recording Academy, when asked if he would ever retire, he proudly declared that “as long as my physical voice and faculties are intact, I’ll be there.” And so, in 2019, he took the stage at the 20th Annual Latin Grammy Awards for an unforgettable first-time-ever performance with his son, Alejandro Fernández, and grandson, Alex Fernández.
Making music to the very end, he released what would be his final album, “A Mis 80’s,” which just won a Latin Grammy under the category Best Ranchero/Mariachi Album and is currently nominated for the 64th Grammy Awards under the category of Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano).”Survivors include his wife, Maria del Refugio Abarca Villaseñor, and three children. Memorial plans have not yet been revealed.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.