Here’s Everything You Should Know About The Eternal Friendship Between Two Of Mexico’s Pop Icons, José José And Vicente Fernández
A key element of celebrity culture is our near obsession with how stars relate to each other. From knowing exactly who Miley Cirus is dating now to feeling like we have the right to know the sexual orientation of figures like Vero Castro (go ask your mom or abuelita if you don’t know who she is. And you should, by the way), celebrity culture is increasingly chismosa and based on knowing about every single detail of other people’s intimate lives.
But sometimes this is a good thing and we discover great stories of decades-long friendships that survive everything, even death. One of such amistades eternas was the one shared by two of the greatest Mexican icons of all time: Vicente Fernández and José José, who died a few weeks ago, sending a whole country (one could even say that most of Latin America will miss him) into mourning. It’s a friendship that started in the 1980s, when they both consolidated their careers and released their most successful records.
Just look at them, sharing the stage when they were both young… and healthy.
Chente recently shared this performance on Instagram. Our heart aches when thinking of José José in his deathbed, consumed by cancer, his prodigious voice just a ghost of times past. Better to remember him like this, healthy, even a bit chonchito but happy.
They are of course singing the classic ranchera “Pa todo el año”
This is just such a wonderful and heartfelt performance in ranchero style. You can see it here.
This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship, as they say in “Casablanca”.
Just look at that Mexican bromance. Mejor, imposible.
And what about this 1990 rendition of “Ya lo pasado pasado”?
The classic ballad sounds surprisingly amazing with Chente’s deep mariachi voice. And look at JJ in his best times, with that tuxedo that made more than one compare him to the great Frank Sinatra.
Well, Chente recently unveiled a sculpture in the Plaza de los Mariachis in Guadalajara, Jalisco.
He was celebrated for his long and fruitful career. But he was still mourning the loss of his dear friend, so he did not turn the event on an ego trip, but rather turned the event into an homage to the Prince of Song (wow, the moniker sounds good in English, eh, mijos?).
This is what Chente had to say about his dear, dear carnalito…
Chente said: “This might not be the right time, but I cannot forget all the times we sang as a duet and our days in the United States, I am talking about ‘El Príncipe de la Canción’ and myself. I kindly ask for a minute of applause for my great friend. I think he is suffering more now that he is dead because of what is going on than what he suffered while he was alive” (come on, practice your Spanish and read the original Chente speech:
“No es el momento, pero no se me olvida las veces que cantamos juntos a dueto y días en Estados Unidos ‘El Príncipe de la Canción’ y yo, y quisiera un minuto de aplausos para mi gran amigo que yo creo que ha sufrido más ahora que murió por lo que está pasando, que en vida“).
Chente was of course referring to the real Shakespearean fight among José José’s children after the singer died.
As we reported, there was a level of uncertainty about the whereabouts of the singer´s body after he died, which sent his heirs into an all out battle that has since been resolved. It must have been so deeply hurtful for Chente, however, to see his friend´s memory being tarnished by chismes that would be right on the mark for a telenovela.
Spanish-speaking media were quick to acknowledge Chente’s gesture.
Mexican TV network TV Azteca reported from Miami, where José José died, and cut back to Guadalajara, where Chente was having his celebration. They said that Chente did what the great ones do… recognize other great ones. Even in death, the two friends are joined even a country away. They both remain alive in the hearts of millions of fans the world over.
Chente is one of the last remaining greats of Mexican popular music.
With the sad passing of El Príncipe de la Canción we have few remaining Mexican stars of the golden age of pop music, when the show Siempre en Domingo showcased talents like these two amigos and others such as Emmanuel and Rocio Durcal. Chente, now retired from the stage, is one of the last great ones to survive. We wish him many more years.