In 1998, just months before Mexican singer Vicente Fernández received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, his eldest son, Vicente Jr., was abducted.
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The artist has been highly regarded and has sold millions of records worldwide. But his fame had drawn the wrong attention.
The kidnappers cut off the fingers of Little Vicente. He was released four months later to receive a $ 3.2m (£ 2.3m) ransom.
But Vicente Fernandez, a well-known Mexican businessman, refused to leave his country.
“I will spend the rest of my life in Mexico. I want that to be clear. In my country they will lift my feet first,” he said.
A few months later about 5,000 people flocked to Hollywood Boulevard to find their star – which was reportedly a good record.
Known as the king of ranchera music, a form of traditional Mexican music, Fernández was a national treasure, a symbol of human culture known and loved by millions.
His voice and fame at home and abroad made him comparable to Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, as well as many other awards. He also created a musical list, in which his sons Alejandro and Vicente Jr. they became very successful artists.
The 81-year-old man died Sunday in his hometown of Guadalajara. The singer has been in poor health for months after suffering on his farm earlier this year.
“We are sorry to inform you of his passing on Sunday, December 12 at 6:15 am,” read a post on the artist’s Instagram page.
Fernandez was born February 17, 1940, on a farm outside the Mexican city of Guadalajara. The city is the capital of the Jalisco region, famous for its culture and especially ranchera music.
He grew up working on his father’s farm and watching films by Mexican actor and breeder Pedro Infante, one of three Mexican actors known as the Three Roasters. Infant is one of Ernesto de la Cruz ‘character motivations for the 2017 Pixar film Coco.
Fernandez says, “One of the things I remember as a child from the age of six or seven was watching Pedro Infante’s films and saying to my mom, ‘When I grow up I want to be like her. I want to.’
By the time he was eight, he had learned to play the guitar and began to sing ranchera music. After a brief career in Tijuana, where his family moved after his father lost his farm, Fernandez returned to Jalisco in 1960 to pursue a full-time music career, working as a basketball player and occasionally appeared on television.
Shortly afterwards, he moved to Mexico City and sang to stay in a restaurant, but returned to Jalisco and got married after failing to secure a recording contract.
His big holiday came in 1966. Javier Solis, the last of the so-called Three Roasters, died following surgical complications, and CBS Records awarded Fernandez a contract. He released his debut album, Perdonem, the same year and has been with the label ever since.
In the decades that followed, Fernández became one of the most popular artists in Mexico. He has released more than 50 albums and between 1971 and 1991 he starred in several films, rewriting his songs from time to time.
His albums sold millions of copies worldwide, and by the 1980’s he had begun touring North and South America – all wearing toys with embroidered charro suits and sombreros.
He too was highly commended. During his career he won three Grammy Awards for Latin Music, eight Latin Grammy Awards and more than a dozen Lo Nuestro awards. Fernandez has a street named after him in the American city of Chicago and his statue in his hometown of Guadalajara.
But Fernandez too was a man of controversy. It has long been associated with the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which has ruled the country unhindered for 71 years from 1929 to 2000. Many of its top members are in prison on corruption charges.
Fernández appeared at several political rallies, even performing at the official ceremony of President Enrique Pea Nieto, a PRI politician who ruled from 2012 to 2018. Mexican prosecutors have launched a corruption investigation into the former president.
And in January 2021, she aroused anger after Fernandez’s female fan appeared to be in charge ******. He later confirmed that he had done so, telling reporters: “I don’t know if it was a joke, I don’t remember … I’m sorry with all my heart.
Fernandez announced he was retiring in 2012, but went on to record an album – the last release in December 2020. He also gained new followers through his Instagram account, where he shared family moments with his more than two million followers.
And in 2016 he last appeared at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, which is home to the Mexican national football team. The event, attended by about 85,000 people, was also broadcast live in Mexico and the US, and was released as a record later in the year – earning her third Grammy Award.
He told the crowd, “With the gold you have always given me, I can buy one thing.” “Your love, your fame and your shoulder.”