Vicente Fernandez Opens Up About His At-Times Rocky Relationship With Joan Sebastian
The relationship between Joan Sebastian and Vicente 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 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.
“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.
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.