Vicente Fernández, Beloved Mexican Music Icon, Dead at 81
By Tionah Lee
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for LARAS
Mexican music icon Vicente Fernández has died at the age of 81, just four months after suffering a fall at his ranch that left him in the ICU.
The news was confirmed on the Mexican crooner’s official Instagram page. “Rest in Peace Mr. Vicente Fernández. We regret to inform you of his death on Sunday, Dec. 12 at 6:15 am,” the post translated from Spanish reads. “It was an honor and great pride to share with everyone a great musical career and to give everything to his audience. Thank you for continuing to applaud, thank you for continuing to sing #Chente #StillTheKing.”
In August, the “Por Tu Maldito Amor” singer’s family shared an update, following the news that he had suffered a fall on his ranch in Guadalajara, which led to a emergency spinal surgery. A statement, also posted on his Instagram at the time, read that he was in “serious but stable condition.” The singer was also on a ventilator for a period, following the incident.
Fernández, also known as Chente to his devoted fans, was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, in 1940. The El Ídolo de México, or the Mexican Idol, started his career as a street performer. Over his decades-long career, the “King of Racheras” sold over 60 million albums and starred in over 35 movies. Fernández always donned his signature traje de charro, including sombreros, embroidered jackets and trousers.
Known for his songs of heartbreak and masculinity, the icon received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1998, was the recipient of three GRAMMYs, eight Latin GRAMMYs (including the President's Award in 2019), and was named Person of the Year by the Latin Recording Academy in 2002.
Throughout his career, the singer stayed true to his roots - - despite the climate of his country and changes in the music industry and personal struggles.
Fernández is survived by his children, Alejandro, Vicente, Gerardo and Alejandra.