Vicente Fernandez was a well-known Mexican musician, actor, and producer whose career spanned more than 50 years. He started singing in the 1970s, and his breakthrough song, Volver Volver, was his debut recording. Gerardo Alejandro and Vicente Fernandez Jr., sons of Vincente Fernandez, will carry on the family tradition. followed in the footsteps of their father and rose to prominence as Latin musicians in Mexico.
In 2012, he collaborated on a duet CD called Los 2 Vicente’s with one of his kids, Vicente Fernandez Jr. Vincente Fernandez won three Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammy Awards before he passed away. Vicente Fernandez produced more than 30 films and over 50 records throughout his career.
Rancheras and other Mexican anthems made up his collection. Given that Vincente Fernandez was a well-known and powerful character in the entertainment industry, his passing was a significant blow to the Latin entertainment sector as a whole as well as to Mexicans specifically.
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Vicente Fernández, the son of a rancher and a housewife, was born on February 17, 1940, in the town of Huentitán El Alto, Jalisco. He once recounted telling his mother that “when I grow up I’m going to be like them” when he was between the ages of 6 and 7 and going with her to see movies featuring Pedro Infante and Jorge Negrete.
After that, he developed a passion for music and was given a guitar when he was 8 years old. He learned to play the instrument at the same time that he started studying folk music. After Fernández completed primary school, he and his family moved to Tijuana since their ranch’s milk sales proved to be impossible for them to sustain.
As a teenager, Fernández started doing several vocations, such as that cabinetmaker, painter, and mason. Due to the fact that he sang while he worked, many construction firms requested to hire him. After working in these positions, he was employed to be a cashier at his uncle’s restaurant.
At the age of 14, he began performing in bars and at weddings, joining a number of mariachi bands, including Mariachi de José Luis Aguilar and Mariachi Amanecer de Pepe Mendoza. It was at this time that he started to gain local notoriety in Jalisco after taking part in the radio program Amanecer Tapatio. He had an appearance on the TV program La Calandria Musical when he was 21 years old. He had never performed for money before.
Vicente, his first son, was born prematurely and had to be incubated at home because Fernández could not afford to pay the hospital. On December 27, 1963, he married Maria del Refugio Abarca Villaseor. His mother, who was 47, passed away from cancer that year.
He relocated to Mexico City in 1965 in order to pursue a career in music. Because Javier Sols was at the height of his fame, his first attempts to work with record labels were fruitless. There, he made arrangements to perform on a radio program for the then-most significant radio network in the nation, XEX-AM.
In April 1966, a few days after Sols’ untimely passing, Fernández started receiving offers for records. He signed his first recording contract with CBS México, the label of CBS Records International’s Mexican division, for whom he made albums including “Soy de Abajo,” “Ni en Defensa Propia,” and “Palabra de rey.” Tu Camino y El Mó and Perdóname, two of Fernández’s compositions, were both commercially and critically successful.
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Vicente Fernandez’s Career
Vicente Fernandez suffered during his formative years of recording and was even turned down by record companies after Mexico’s most well-known traditional singer passed away in 1966. He was given a recording contract by CBS Mexico when they identified his skills. With the rachera “Volver, Volver,” which became a huge hit, he had his big debut.
Through the song Volver Volver, he gained widespread recognition throughout the Spanish-speaking globe, including among the many millions of Mexican-Americans living in the United States and not just in Mexico.
Other songs Vincente Fernandez released after the success he experienced with the release of Volver Volver also became hits. As he continued to release more successful songs and albums, Vincente Fernandez’s fame continued to rise.
Fernández would spend between 12 and 13 hours recording up to 18 tracks to demonstrate how dedicated, committed, and focused he was in his business. Once this is done, he would take a day off before going back to the studio to finish the songwriting.
His debut album, 15 Grandes con el nmero uno, was released in 1983 and went on to sell millions of copies. When he visited Bolivia and Colombia in 1987, he embarked on his first tour outside of the United States and Mexico.
During his final career performance at the Estadio Azteca on April 16, 2016, Fernández announced his retirement from singing.
Indeed, one of the themes of Vincente Fernandez’s success story is “going from grass to grace” or “from nothing to something.” The secret to Fernandez’s success was his perseverance, dedication, and focus on what he enjoyed doing. He is a great role model for people who want to succeed in the entertainment business.
Vicente Fernandez was not only successful in the music business, but also in the motion picture business. He was acting in addition to promoting his studio albums.
When he appeared in Tacos AL Carbon in 1971, Fernandez made his acting debut. Fernández received a role in LA Ley del Monte in 1976. In the following two decades, he appeared as a star in over 39 movies.
Vincente Fernandez began starring in movies that included his songs, and in some of those movies, the movie’s title was also the song’s title.
He entered the cinema industry as well. He created the movie El hijo del Pueblo in 1974. In 1991, he created his final film, Mi Guerido Viejo, and then turned his focus to music.
In 2017, Fernández win the Grammy Award for Best Regional Mexican Music CD for the concert’s collection on the same-named album.
Despite quitting performing live, he continued to record albums and songs, including Más Romantico que Nunca in 2018 and A mis 80s in 2020, the latter of which brought him his ninth Latin Grammy Award for best ranchera album in 2021.
He recorded more than 80 albums and more than 300 songs during the course of his 50-year career, selling more than 65 million records.
Vicente Fernandez’s Personal Life
On December 27, 1963, Fernández wed Mara del Refugio Abarca “Cuquita,” the sister of a close friend he had made while growing up. Vicente Jr., Gerardo, and Alejandro are the couple’s three biological children; they also adopted Alejandra, his niece, as their fourth daughter.
They had 11 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren from their children. Several people accused him of being unfaithful throughout his life, which he consistently denied.
Vicente frequently appeared on stage to perform alongside his singing sons Alejandro and Vicente Jr. In 2019, he last performed live alongside his son Alejandro to support the musical career of one of his grandsons, Alex.
Fernandez battled cancer twice, defeating prostate cancer in 2002 and undergoing liver tumor removal in 2012. He underwent surgery to remove abdominal hernias in 2015 and experienced a thrombosis in 2013 that momentarily took away his voice.
In 2012, he made the decision to decline a liver transplant. He was given a two-day hospital stay in 2021 to treat a urinary tract infection, at which time Guillain-Barré syndrome was discovered.
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Vicente Fernandez’s Controversies
After making comments about his health during an interview in May 2019, Fernández created criticism. For a liver transplant, Fernández claimed that he had been admitted to a hospital in Houston, Texas, but he opted against it because he did not want to “sleep with [his] wife while having the liver of another man, who could have been a homosexual or a drug user.”
In January 2021, Fernández caused yet another uproar when he touched a fan’s breast during a photo with her family. A few days later, Fernández sent the woman’s family an apology, saying that “I admit that I was wrong, I don’t know if I was joking, maybe it was a joke… I don’t know. I do not remember, there were many people (with whom I took photos), sincerely I offer an apology.”
Lupita Castro, a singer, accused Fernández of sexual assault in February 2021. Castro said that the incident occurred when she was 17 years old, 40 years before, and that she remained silent because of his control and because he had threatened her with violence. Castro declined to bring Fernández’s case to court.
Awards And Nominations
The album Vicente Fernandez y las clásicas de José Alfredo Jiménez, which Fernández released in 1990 as a tribute to Jiménez the “God of Ranchera Music” from Guanajuato and a major musical influence was named after Jiménez.
His record garnered him the Latin Music Award from Billboard and Univision for Mexican Regional Male Artist of the Year, which he received five times between 1989 and 1993.
The Latin Music Hall of Fame of Billboard recognized Fernández in 1998. His Hollywood Walk of Fame star was unveiled on November 11th, 1998.
The American National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences bestows the Grammy Awards on music each year. Four of the fourteen nominations for Fernández resulted in prizes.
The Latin Recording Academy named Fernández Person of the Year in 2002. He marked his 35th anniversary in the entertainment business that year. Over the course of his career, he sold more than 50 million records and was honored with induction into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) lists 51 of his albums as having sold one million copies or more. In addition, Fernández has a star with his name and handprints set at the Paseo de las Luminarias in Mexico City, as well as an arena named in his honor that was built in Guadalajara by his company in 2005.
On 16 July 2008, U.S. Bill Richardson, the governor of New Mexico, announced 12 June to be Vicente Fernández Day in the state. The Best Regional Mexican Album Grammy Award went to Fernández in 2010 for his album Necesito de T.
In addition to giving Fernández the key to the city in 2012, Chicago also renamed West 26th Street in the Little Village district in his honor. Additionally, from October 20 to October 27, the city observes “Vicente Fernandez Week.” At the “Plaza de los Mariachis” in Guadalajara, on October 6, 2019, Fernández unveiled a statue made in his honor.
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Vicente Fernandez’s Death
After fainting at his rancho in Guadalajara on August 8, 2021, Vicente Fernandez was taken to the hospital. His cervical spine, which he also wounded in the process, was among the significant injuries he endured.
Fernandez was given therapy as soon as his Guillain-Barré syndrome was discovered two weeks after he was admitted to the hospital, on August 13, 2021.