Vicente Fernandez, an icon of traditional Mexican music, has passed away. He was 81. The announcement made by his family members did not provide an explanation for the reason however the singer was hospitalized since August, following a fall on the Guadalajara ranch in the central part of Jalisco that required an urgent spinal operation.
In the hospital, he’d also been diagnosed with Guillain Barre syndrome. This is an auto-immune disorder where the immune system targets the nerves in the body, Vicente fernández’s grandchildren had disclosed to the news media. Following months of constant improvement, his health was beginning to take downwards over the last few days.
Fernandez was generally regarded as the final living legend of his time in the Mexican ranchera, a style of music deeply rooted in the values, and customs that characterized rural Mexico. He sang songs about courtship and honor as well as rodeos and cockfights, romance, and heartbreak, all the while wearing the beautiful, intricately embroidered dress that portrayed the Mexican charro as a most chivalrous cowboy. He was with the full mariachi ensemble.
In the course of his career, his voice of his became synonymous with Mexico itself. His rich baritone voice was instantly recognized and his songs were carved to be incorporated into the everyday life of Mexicans and people who loved Mexico all over the world The music of weddings and quinceaneras as well as funerals, baptisms, and birthdays.
The man was also the most iconic image of the Mexican Macho. The thick mustache of his, colored black long after his hair been dyed white, was a defining feature in the brims of his sombreros that were wide and shoulder-length. In concert, he carried an ax on his hip and sang for hours, bathing in sweat. As it seemed to be getting ready and he’d drink a glass of tequila and then sing for a while.
“He sang all the time people wanted to hear him perform,” said Leila Cobo Vice President of Billboard magazine. “And I think that the pledge to his fans, which said, “I’m yours to enjoy and you can take it all,’ was a massive hit.”
In many ways, his image was perfect for and was a result of Mexico’s patriarchal society. However, Fernandez also defied certain expectations Mexican culture has for its men such as that they should be walls of stoicism, and repressing emotions. His songs were suffused with an extraordinary vulnerability and, in some of them, he frankly wept and gasped for breath as he sank into the pain of bitter heartbreak.
“He sang these songs with such emotionality and emotion that grown men would cry and he would too,” Cobo said. “Perhaps because that he was such a strong man, he was able to cry. This made him even more famous and legendary.”
Fernandez is born on the 20th of September 1940 in a small town located in the central state of Jalisco. As a young man, his family relocated to Tijuana where he took on odd jobs like cleaning cars as well as digging holes, polishing shoes, and pouring the foundations of the houses in some of the suburbs that were built in the early days of Tijuana.
He began singing in restaurants and bars at the age of 19, and later returned to Guadalajara and Mexico City, where he got record companies to record his songs. The first single he released, in 1969 was “Tu Camino El Mio”” an old-fashioned ballad about an unrequited romance.
In the past, he’d had numerous more. He made a number of album that were sold to millions and he won three Grammys.
However, he never hid his humble roots and shared a bond with Mexico’s poor, working class and rural population. He performed in large arenas for concerts and pits for cockfights and bullrings.
Then he became an iconic image for Mexican immigrants from his home country of the U.S. and around the world , who discovered that his music drew them to the towns and ranches they’d abandoned to pursue opportunities in the United States.
His longevity and fame as a musician was astonishing and spanned generations, according to Jose Anguiano, a professor of the field of popular music in California State University, Los Angeles. His huge popularity, even among the newest Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in the present, Anguiano said, owes much to the longevity of his music, as well as the fact that Mexican people have relied on him to continually refresh their faith in Mexico and within Mexican tradition.
“He sang not only to us , but also to our grandparents, our parents, uncles and grandmothers too,” Anguiano said. “So there’s this huge sadness for what he represents to the society.”