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Honoring Vicente Fernández

By: Itzmali Vasquez and Diego Avalos

Vicente Fernández was born February 17, 1940. He was born and raised in Huentitán del Alto, Jalisco, Mexico to a poor family and had to work since his childhood to maintain himself. He was forced to drop out of school in the fifth grade to help support his family. He entered a singing contest in Guadalajara when he was 14, and won first place. That win gave him the confidence to start performing in restaurants and weddings. In the summer of 1966, Fernández signed with CBS México (now Sony Music) and recorded his first hits: “Tu Camino y El Mío,” “Perdóname” and “Cantina del Barrio.” Fernández ‘ recording career had begun. Other hits followed including “Soy de Abajo,” “Ni en Defensa Propia” and “Palabra del Rey.”  

Fernández also branched out into movies. His first film was Uno y Medio Contra el Mundo. He won his first Grammy Award 2010 Fernández was awarded his first Grammy Award for best regional Mexican album for his record Necesito de Tí — which he also earned a Latin Grammy Fernández’s work earned him three Grammy Awards, nine Latin Grammy Awards, fourteen Lo Nuestro Awards, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He sold over 50 million copies worldwide, making him one of the best-selling regional Mexican artists of all time. Maria del Refugio Abarca Villaseñor, a.k.a. Maria Abarca Villaseñor is Vicente Fernandez’s wife.  The couple met in Huentitán and later got married on 27 December 1963 the two were married for almost 58 years and had 4 kids.

Fernández died in Guadalajara in his home state of Jalisco. He had been hospitalized for four months after a fall at his ranch. Fernández suffered from Guillain-Barré syndrome, which made it difficult for him to recover; he was buried at Los Tres Potrillos. He was a strong enough artist that he could take our deepest desires, our passions, and our pain, and he could get up on stage for the world to see and release them. He had a huge impact on mariachi music. Vicente Fernandez’s memorial service was held just 12 hours after his passing, with thousands of people in attendance. There wasn’t a moment without the melodies that the iconic Mexican charro gifted to the world. Throughout the memorial service, videos of Fernández’s most iconic performances filled the back screen and his voice rang throughout the crowd. His beautiful words will live on forever in the hearts of his fans all over the world.