When Pepe Aguilar was 3 years old, his parents -- singer/actor Antonio Aguilar, considered one of the world's great ranchera voices, and screen siren Flor Silvestre -- handed him a microphone onstage at New York's Madison Square Garden, launching his career.
Today, 39 years later, Aguilar is an icon. At 44, the ranchera/mariachi singer with the velvety voice has found equal success in Latin pop. He is a composer, producer, an entrepreneur and an innovator who has launched his own label and digital marketing company. Aguilar has become the voice of a new generation of Mexican singers, straddling Mexican tradition with pop sensibility and reinventing the way his genre approaches the music business.
With a history of nearly 20 No. 1s on Billboard's Regional Mexican Airplay chart, nine top 10s on Hot Latin Songs, six top 10s on the Top Latin Albums tally and two No. 1s and 12 top 10s on Regional Mexican Albums, Aguilar is this year's recipient of Billboard's Legado Artistico, the Artistic Legacy Award.