Entertainment

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

Entertainment

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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This Chilean Competition Show Featured Juanga And Chente Impersonators And They Did Not Disappoint

Entertainment

This Chilean Competition Show Featured Juanga And Chente Impersonators And They Did Not Disappoint

Chilevision / Instagram

Unless you have been living under a rock your whole life, you are well aware that Juan Gabriel and Vicente Fernández are two of the biggest stars in Mexican musical history. For your abuelas and tías, and perhaps for you as well, they are like Elvis, Lady Gaga and the Pope combined. This duo has basically drawn the emotional X-ray of generations of Latinos. The scene feels like home: the smell of mole on the stove and the radio blasting a ranchera. 

We know that Juanga shockingly died in 2016 (please, let him rest in peace and ignore the ridiculous claims that he is still alive, don’t go all Pedro Infante conspiracy theory on us!). In that same year Chente announced his retirement after an epic concert in Mexico City. But a television homage brought them back for a fleeting instant. Ay, dolor!

Yo Soy is a popular television show where impersonators compete against each other.

Credit: Instagram. @chilevision

The show is produced by Chilevision and is a local version of the European program I Am. Three judges chose the best impersonators based on physical appearance, singing ability and of course stage presence. There are other Latin American versions. In Peru, for example, contestants have brought to life the likes of Roberto Carlos, Emmanuel, Adele, Leo Dan and pero por supuesto Luis Miguel. 

This year four great ones came face to face in the record-breaking final: Juanga, Chente, Gustavo Cerati and Aretha Franklin.

Credit: Instagram. @chilevision

The season was full of nostalgia for Latin Americans. Besides Chente and Juanga, who we will never hear live again, the Argentinian rockstar Gustavo Cerati, the lead singer of Soda Stereo, was one of the finalists. Cerati is rock royalty. He died in 2014, four years after falling into a coma. If you are a fan, you can’t miss this great performance by the contestant (but you gotta sing “Persiana americana”). 

But right away Vicente Monsalves impressed everyone basically bringing Juanga back to life.

Credit: Instagram. @fansdevicentevozdejuanga

This young man is hoping to become a veterinarian. He has a stage presence that reminded us of the younger years of “El Divo de Juarez”. Of course, he performed a variety of greatest hits throughout the season, including “Hasta que te conocí”, “Se me olvidó otra vez” and “El Noa Noa”. Get a taste here

His ability to channel all those Juanga vibes got people talking.

Credit: Twitter. @_tennieten

We are sure the similarity brought some to tears. Thread carefully if you wanna show this video to your abuelita

But Cristofer Mera, aka Chente, no se quedó atrás

Credit: Instagram. @chilevision

Mexican mariachi music is extremely popular in South America. In countries like Chile, films from the Golden Age of Mexican cinema featuring the likes of Jorge Negrete and Pedro Infante constantly air on public television. So it is no surprise that Cristofer did such a great job capturing the strong but somewhat vulnerable masculinity of a true ranchera singer. Of course, “El Rey” brought the audience to a climax, but this performance of the classic “Volver, volver” brought the audience to their feet. 

But could he beat the Juanga sassiness of the other Vicente? 

Credit: Instagram. @fansdevicentelavozdejuanga

It was uncanny to see Vicente Monsalves serving us that devilish Juanga smile and adopting his mannerisms onstage. Did Juanga resurrect like a modern Mexican kitsch messiah?

Twitter sent all kinds of good juju to the contestants!

Credit: Twitter. @maiki485

That sure looks like a powerful varita mágica. But did it work?

Chente also got some good old Internet encouragement.

Credit: Twitter. @ingcivilubb

 This charro cantor had a lot of viewers feeding out of his hand. 

But of course there could only be one winner… Juanga! Queridaaaaaaaa!

Credit: Instagram. @fansdevicentelavozdejuanga 

Look at that face. He won $12 million Chilean pesos, which translates into roughly 17k USD. Not bad at all! He will use the money to pay for his university fees. Muy bien muchachito, muy bien.

Fans were of course pleased.

Credit: Twitter. @hillbilliees

Awww… that’s cute. A bit too many emoticons, though. 

Some called for a national celebration.

Credit: Twitter. @JavierSapbe69

OK, this dude was just being a bit dramatic, people didn’t actually congregate in downtown Santiago. 

But Twitter also had strong negative reactions to Juanga’s win.

Credit: Twitter. @elias_putrefakto

Some didn’t take the result very well at all. Cerati had some pretty committed fans and took on Twitter to voice their enojo. There will always be some controversy in a show like this, that is exactly what makes TV contests such a delightful guilty pleasure!

You can’t keep everyone happy. Did the best contestant win?

Credit: Twitter. @abarca_patricia

Some Twitter users argued that Juan Gabriel won because of his acting abilities, and that Vicente Fernández and Gustavo Cerati were far more musically talented. But what is done is done, and Yo Soy history has been written. 

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