21 Facts About “El Rey” Chente Fernandez That Will Make You Love Him Even More

After dead legends like Pedro Infante and José Alfredo Jiménez, Vicente Fernández rules supreme in the ranchera music. He has retired from the stage but will continue working in the music industry. His powerful voice and imposing screen and stage presence have made him an icon of Mexican masculinity and Latino identity not only in his native Mexico but also in the rest of Latin America and Spanish-speaking communities in the United States. In his official website, we can read the following regarding his legacy: “As a pioneer, Vicente Fernández is to Mexican music what Hank Williams is to country music, B.B. King is to blues and Woody Guthrie is to folk.” We couldn’t agree more! He is also an advocate for Latino rights and even breaks bread with political personalities such as former presidential candidate Hilary Clinton.

Here are some facts you have to know about this mariachi king, who retired in 2013 but will always live in us through his numerous recordings and the countless memories he left for those who were lucky enough to see him live.

All Hail Chente!

1. He was born in 1940 in Huentitan El Alto, near Guadalajara in Jalisco

Credit: Instagram. @_vicentefdez

His father Ramón owned a ranch outside of Guadalajara and young Vicente spent his childhood in a rural environment. He fell in love with nature and with horses, one of this greatest passions. His love for the land is evident in his heartfelt lyrics. In his raspy but educated voice, we can almost taste the tequila, tortillas, and herbs, and feel the harsh Jalisco sun on our face.

2. He is a Chivas Rayadas del Guadalajara fan

Credit: Instagram. @_vicentefdez

As a good tapatío, Chente roots for Las Chivas Rayadas del Guadalajara, one of the biggest soccer teams in Mexico. The rivalry that this team has with the Aguilas del América is legendary.

3. He just adores horses

Credit: Instagram. @_vicentefdez

Chente often shares photos of his equine friends on Instagram. He owns all sorts of breeds and chooses them personally.

4. He is a proud great-grandfather

Credit: Instagram. @_vicentefdez

In his core, Chente is far from the macho image that he has built throughout his music and film career. He is now a great-grandfather and a proud one. Just look at this candid moment: melts our corazones in the best possible way. He has four children, including the famous Potrillo, Alejandro.

5. He wanted to be like Pedro Infante

Credit: Instagram. @_vicentefdez

But of course. When he was just ab 8-year-old he told his mamacita chula that he wanted to be like Infante, to appear and movies and sing mariachi music. He certainly fulfilled his dream. He began playing guitar when he was only eight.

6. He built his early career by winning singing contests

Credit: Instagram. @_vicentefdez

Young Chente entered music contests in nearby towns…. and the rest is history. Sort of sounds like the plot from our beloved movie Coco, doesn’t it?

7. He has been with the same label throughout his whole career

Credit: Instagram. @_vicentefdez

He is a loyal man:  he released his first recording, “Perdóname”, with Discos CBS in 1966. The label is now Sony Music Latin and he keeps working with them. Lealtad ante todo! 

8. His son Alejandro is a music legend in his own right

Credit: Instagram. @_vicentefdez

Even if his career has not been short of dreadful alcohol-infused scandals, Alejandro, better known as El Potrillo, is a proud carrier of his father’s name and has built an impressive music career of his own, making mariachi music mainstream in the much coveted Mexico City market.

9. He recorded over 50 albums!

Credit: Instagram. @_vicentefdez

In his 35-year career, Chente recorded over 50 albums! Talk about being prolific.

10. His father died just as he was going to go on stage

Credit: Instagram. @_vicentefdez

The stuff that legends are made of. in 1970 Chente found out his father had passed just before he was about to step on the stage. He sang while holding the tears back. What a legend.

11. In 1990 he released Vicente Fernandez y las clásicas de José Alfredo Jiménez, the best album ever for an afterparty

Credit: Instagram. @_vicentefdez

Chente offered a tribute to the old master with this amazing album that is just fantastic for a fiesta… picture yourself at 4 a.m. having a last chela and crying to your favorite heartbreaking tunes.

12. He has won 3 Grammys

Credit: Instagram. @_vicentefdez

Not bad for a little boy who once dreamt of becoming a famous mariachi. He has received a total of 13 nominations, which sort of makes him the Meryl Streep of ranchera music.

13. He is a vocal Trump critic

Credit: Instagram. @_vicentefdez

In one of his last concerts, Chente said that if he ever met him, he would spit on Trump’s face. He is really vocal about his support for Mexican migrants.

14. His favorite drink is…

Credit: Instagram. @_vicentefdez

No, not tequila! Chente loves aguas frescas and his staff is always ready with jamaica, tamarindo or horchata with plenty of ice.

15. He is a Frank Sinatra fan

Credit: Instagram. @_vicentefdez

Yes, besides loving the Mexican mariachis of the golden age, he is fascinated by Sinatra’s voice range and the way he moved on stage. We can certainly see some if Blue Eyes in the way that Chente connects with the audience. This is what The Houston Chronicle once said about him: “Vicente Fernández is the (Frank) Sinatra of ranchera music. He’s the supreme singer; the man who does things his way.”

16. This is what he looks like without his iconic mustache 

Credit: Instagram. @_vicentefdez

We are so used to see him with his bigote ranchero that we couldn’t resist publishing this super rare photo. Kinda looks like El No Hay, doesn’t he?

17. He married the love of his life in 1963

Credit: Instagram. @_vicentefdez

Maria del Refugio “Cuca” Abarca Villasenor is her name, and they have been together through good times and bad times for many, many years. Chente often posts pictures of the older happy couple on his Insta.

18. He was BFF with Juanga

Credit: Instagram. @_vicentefdez

Talk about a dream friendship. Chente was heartbroken when Juanga died. He posted this amazing pic one year after the great Juan Gabriel passed away and broke our Latino hearts.

19. Social media is his guilty pleasure

Credit: Instagram. @_vicentefdez

Despite his advanced age, Don Chente is an avid user of social media. Perhaps he finds in social media the level of connection with his fans that any celebrity must strive for.

20. There are often false rumors about his presumed death… give the man a break!

Credit: Instagram. @_vicentefdez

Chente is always quick to come out and dismiss the rumors. If he died, our abuelitas would be in mourning and there would be no question.

21. His dad died the same year that El Potrillo was born: 1970-1971

Credit: Instagram. @_vicentefdez

When life takes, life gives. Chente’s dad died on the same year that one of his sons, the world famous Potrillo was born.

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Alejandro Fernandez Opens Up About His At-Times Rocky Relationship With Joan Sebastian


Alejandro Fernandez Opens Up About His At-Times Rocky Relationship With Joan Sebastian

The relationship between Joan Sebastian and Alejandro Fernandez and the Fernandez family goes way back, but is not exempt from problems.

“El Poeta del pueblo,” or “the poet of the pueblo” as Joan Sebastian was dubbed, would have been 69 years old on April 8th, 2020. The Mexican singer-songwriter, who was famous for his heartbreakingly beautiful songs, 42 of which landed him on the Hot Latin Songs Chart, died on July 12, 2015, in his ranch in Juliantla, Mexico after battling bone cancer for 13 years. He was 64 years old.

Sebastian had a troubled life. So troubled that one would say the storyline mirrors what we see in a movie or telenovela. He had eight children with five women, two who died, and this was before he was diagnosed with cancer, a disease he fought ferociously until the end performing up until his last days. 

For his birthday, Mexican star Alejandro Fernandez, who considered Sebastian to be a mentor, released a version of “Esto y más.”

Alejandro Fernandez
@alexoficial / Instagram

Alejandro Fernandez was the opening act for Joan Sebastian 20 years ago. It was the first tour of Fernandez’s career. 

“I grew up listening to Joan’s music. But it was more than that — my dad, Joan and I went on tour in the mid to late 1990’s,” Fernandez told Billboard during an interview.

Alejandro Fernandez
@alexoficial / Instagram

“Ever since that moment, I felt close to Joan. We may have had years between us, but we got along great and we were very good friends.”

The single and the video were released on Wednesday. Fernandez and his label, Universal Music Latin Entertainment, donated all proceeds from the song to the foundation “MusiCares COVID-19” in the US and “MusicaMexico COVID-19” in Mexico, which helps musicians and members of the guild.

When Fernandez traveled for the first time with his father and Sebastian many years ago, Sebastian asked Vicente Fernandez for permission to take his son out one night.

“He promised to take care of me,” Alejandro said laughing. “Many years later, I was on tour with Marco Antonio Solis and Joan and his younger son came to our afterparty following the San Diego show. When Joan had to go, I asked for permission for his bebé to stay.”

In 2015, the year of Sebastian’s death, Vicente Fernandez revealed that they had had strong disagreements.

Vicente Fernandez

These disagreements, although not enough to end their friendship, did cause them to stop recording music together.

According to the “Charro de Huentitán,” Fernandez had hired Sebastian to record a second album following the success of “Para Siempre”, an agreement that ended when Joan presented previously published versions of his songs.

“He would give me the songs and say they were unpublished, as they’d have to be if a producer is making music, and I was hurt because there were about five songs he gave me already produced by his other friends. That’s not okay,” Fernandez explained when asked what caused their friendship to change. 

“Then he would record half the song and after recording the other half with me he would edit them, upload them, and title them ‘Joan Sebastian and Vicente Fernandez Duet.’ I didn’t like that either.”

“It didn’t drive us apart, we just stopped making music together,” Fernandez states. Noticeably distraught, Vicente Fernandez revealed that just before Joan’s death they left their differences aside in an emotional reunion where the late singer apologized for ever having offended Fernandez. In fact, he says, the day of Joan Sebastian’s death, he was waiting for his lifelong friend to join him for dinner.

For more on the Fernandez’s and Joan Sebastian, head over to Latido music.

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Amid All The Drama Of The Latin Grammys And Urbano Music, Here’s What Happened At Last Night’s Latin Grammys


Amid All The Drama Of The Latin Grammys And Urbano Music, Here’s What Happened At Last Night’s Latin Grammys

NBC Universal / YouTube

The 2019 Latin Grammys hosted by Ricky Martin kicked off yesterday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. There were some big wins for Juan Luis Guerra, Mon Laferte, Christian Nodal, Bad Bunny, Luis Enrique and — much to many Latinxs’ chagrin — Spanish singers Rosalia, who won Album of the Year, and Alejandro Sanz.

However, there were many highlights of the evening as well. Legends Celia Cruz, Juan Gabriel, Joan Sebastian, and Gustavo Cerati received a lavish tribute. Vincente Fernandez made his story when he brought his son Alejandro and grandson Alex Jr. on stage to perform. Bad Bunny gave a disruptive speech about the Latin Grammys snubbing reggaeton artists, and strangely enough, a member of Metallica showed up. These are the 2019 Latin Grammys highlights. 

A tribute to late Latinx legends ushers in a star-studded 2019 Latin Grammys. 

Brazillian singer Anitta was accompanied by merengue veterans Olga Tañon and Milly Quezada to perform a samba and merengue infused version of “La Vida es un Carnaval,” to honor Celia Cruz. Then Mexican crooners Carlos Rivera, Reik, and Leon Garcia came on stage to perform JuanGa’s “Querida.” 

Natalia Jimenez, Calibre 50, and Prince Royce performed Mexican singer-songwriter Joan Sebastian’s “Secreto de Armor.” Ricky Martin was joined by Draco Rosa, Fito Paez, and Beto Cuevas to honor Gustavo Cerati with their rendition of Soda Stereo’s “Musica Ligera.” 

Miguel sang in Spanish and everyone lost their minds.

Miguel performed a Spanglish version of “Show Me Love” with Alicia Keys. After the Mexican heartthrob sang his parts in Spanish, people on Twitter kind of lost it. 

“Miguel singing in Spanish is making me feel some type of waaaay *heart eyes*,” one user wrote. 

“Seeing @Miguel sing during the Latin Grammys with @aliciakeys was something else. Sensual and romantic at the same time,” another Twitter user wrote.

“My parents are watching Latin Grammys and I look up to see Miguel and Alicia Keys performing I was likeajxjdjxj,” a stunned user wrote. 

Mon Laferte bared her chest on the red carpet for Chilean rights.

We can’t exactly show you the full photo, but Chilean musician Mon Laferte, who won Best Alternative Music Album, bravely exposed her breasts to get the public’s attention about human rights in Chile. Written across her decollete in black ink were the words “En Chile Torturan Violan,” which translates to “In Chile They Torture, Rape, And Kill.” 

At least 20 people have been killed during protests in Chile about wealth inequality (the nation is one of Latin America’s wealthiest) and better social services following the government’s announcement of higher subway fares. Tens of thousands of protesters set up fiery barricades and confronted riot police in October. 

Vincente Fernandez showed three generations of Mexican artistry. 

“I’m a grateful man for my family and my music,” Vicente Fernandez said as he was joined on stage by his son Alejandro and grandson Alex. “When you listen to the voice of who has your blood, you feel immortal.” 

Alejandro performed his latest single “Caballero.” Throughout the tear-jerking performance by the trio, family photos were displayed in the background. 

 “I still needed to sing 50 more songs but I owe it to you. All I want to say to God and my public is that you know you are a part of me until the day they bury me. Thank you,” Vincente said after receiving a standing ovation. 

Bad Bunny stood up to the industry while accepting his reward. 

Bad Bunny scored his first Latin Grammy for Best Urban Album for X100Pre. Bunny was one of many artists to join Maluma in defending reggaeton against the industry’s consistent snubbing of musicians of the genre.

 “Reggaeton is part of Latin music,” he said. “To my colleagues, let’s give it our all. The genre has become about views and numbers but we have to bring different things to the table.”

Nella won Best New Artist. 

Venezuelan artist Nella, a Berkeley College of Music alumni, won Best New Artist. She snagged the tile from Paulo Londra, Greeicy, Aitina, and Cami. 

“This is for everyone who, like me, comes from another country looking for new opportunities,” she said.

Juanes win Person of the Year and gets a surprise from Metallica.

Colombian rock musician Juanes won Person of the Year after performing a medley of songs including “A Dios Le Pido” and “La Camisa Negra.” He was surprised by Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich who presented him the award. 

 “You guys changed my life,” Juanes told Ulrich. The drummer says he met Juanes ago while performing in Mexico. 

“Tonight we come full circle. I proclaim myself a Juanes fan, my friend, my parcero, I’m proud to recognize you as Person of the Year for the Latin Recording Academy,” Ulrich said. 

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