‘El Rey’ Vicente Fernández, mariachi icon and Mexico’s national treasure, has died

Mexican musical legend Vicente Fernández has passed away. The king of ranchera music died in a Guadalajara hospital in his home state of Jalisco. He was 81 years old.

“Rest in Peace Mr. Vicente Fernández. We regret to inform you of his passing on Sunday, December 12 at 6:15 am “, was the message on his Instagram account.

“Rest in Peace Mr. Vicente Fernández. We regret to inform you of his death on Sunday, December 12 at 6:15 am, “read a message on his Instagram account.

“It was an honor and a great pride to share with everyone a great musical career and to give everything for its audience. Thank you for continuing to applaud, thank you for continuing to sing. ”

Known as “Chente” by his fans, Fernández was known for iconic songs about love, longing, and the country that were familiar to US Hispanics and people throughout the Spanish-speaking world, such as “Volver, Volver, “” El Rey “and” Por Tu Maldito Amor. “Many saw him as one of the last artists of the ranchera, a style of song rooted in rural Mexico.

In 1998, Fernández received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He won three Grammys and eight Latin Grammys, among other honors. He appeared in more than 30 movies and sold more than 50 million records.

Fernández died the same day that Mexico celebrates the feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe or the Virgin of Guadalupe. For Mexicans and Mexican Americans, December 12 has a special meaning. It marks the date in 1531 when the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to Juan Diego, a Mexican Indian, in the last of several appearances.

Fernández was such an icon that Telemundo, NBC’s Spanish-language network, interrupted its live broadcast of the Virgin of Guadalupe celebrations in Mexico to announce her death. The news quickly flooded social media when major Mexican publications reported his death.

Born on February 17, 1940, in Jalisco, Fernández grew up on his father’s ranch.

He had undergone surgery nearly a decade ago for a liver tumor and had other health complications.

In April 2016, Fernández said goodbye to performing live at a large-scale concert at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, which attracted more than 80,000 fans from around the world. He was hospitalized this year after a fall on his ranch.

Fernández is survived by his wife, María del Refugio Abarca Villaseñor, and three children.

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