Iconic Mexican singer, Vicente Fern?ndez dies at 81

Vicente Fernández, an icon of traditional Mexican music, has died at the age of 81. 

 

He passed away on Sunday Decdmber 12, at a hospital in the western Mexican city of Guadalajara, according to a post published on his official Instagram account.

 

The announcement from his family did not give a cause of death, but the singer had been hospitalized since August after a fall at his Guadalajara ranch in the central state of Jalisco required an emergency spinal surgery.

 

While in the hospital, he had also been diagnosed with Guillain–Barré syndrome, an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks the body’s nerves.

 

“It was an honor and a great pride to share with everyone a great musical career and to give everything for his audience,” read a post on Fernández’s account translated from Spanish. “Thank you for continuing to applaud, thank you for continuing to sing.”

 

Fernandez’s label Sony Music Entertainment México joined in the international mourning over “the passing of the greatest icon of Mexico, Vicente Fernández” with a statement.

 

“Today, Mexico is in mourning,” the statement read. “Known worldwide since the 1990s as the Frank Sinatra of ranchera music, Don Chente bids farewell to the audiences who honor the life and work of this supreme interpreter, the man who did things his way. Rest in peace, Vicente Fernández.”

 

Locally known as El Rey, the king of Mexican music, Fernandez recorded more than 300 songs, sold more than 65 million albums worldwide, and won three Grammys and eight Latin Grammys. He also appeared in more than 30 films.

 

He was best known for his songs “Volver, Volver,” “Por Tu Maldito Amor,” and “El Rey.”

 

He was a perennial favorite at awards shows such as Premios Lo Nuestro Awards and Latin Grammy Awards, and was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1998.

 

That same year, he was inducted into Billboard’s Latin Music Hall of Fame. He was recognized as Person of the Year by the Latin Recording Academy in 2002.

 

Fernández formally retired from the stage in 2016 with a splashy farewell show in Mexico City, but performed during the Latin Grammy Awards in 2019 with his son Alejandro and grandson Alex.

 

Fernández is survived by his wife, María del Refugio Abarca Villasenor, and their three sons, Vicente Jr., Gerardo, Alejandro, and a daughter, Alejandra.