The resounding reaction to Vicente Fernández‘s death is that we lost a great.
Fernández, the Mexican ranchera legend, died on Sunday (Dec. 12) at 81 years old, the family confirmed via an official statement posted on social media. “Rest in peace, Sr. Vicente Fernández. We regret to inform you that he passed away Sunday, December 12 at 6:15a.m. It was an honor sharing with you all a great musical trajectory when he gave it his all to his fans. Thank you for your applauses, and for always singing along.”
A cultural icon to generations, the Jalisco-born artist was known for his swooning rancheras such as “Hermoso Cariño” and “Acá Entre Nos,” and timeless folk anthems that he serenaded fans with for decades.
“Sad day, without words,” Spanish singer-songwriter Alejandro Sanz wrote on Twitter. “The story of Mexican music will always have your name. Vicente, friend, you were and you will forever be EL REY (the king). Your legacy will be history.”
Gloria Estefan took to Instagram to honor Fernández’s legacy. “Today is a hard day for those in music with the loss of a Mexican titan who, for decades, took his roots and his culture to the world. I was one of his biggest fans and will continue loving, respecting and admiring him for the great person he was and the blueprint he leaves in history.”
Born Feb. 17, 1940, Fernández began his career singing on the streets of his hometown Guadalajara and went on to record more than 50 albums, starred in more than two dozen telenovelas and Mexican films, and became a touring titan always going onstage with his iconic traje de charro that included ornate sombreros and embroidered jackets.
In total, he won three Grammy Awards and eight Latin Grammys. In 2002, he was honored as person of the year by the Latin Recording Academy. On the Billboard charts, he landed 20 top 10s on the Hot Latin Songs chart, including one No. 1 “El Ultimo Beso,” which topped the chart for a week in 2009. He logged 61 entries on the chart in his lifetime, from 1987 through 2013. On the Top Latin Albums survey, he had six No. 1s. He posted 40 entries on the chart during his lifetime.
His last performance on television was during the 2019 Latin Grammys where he was joined by his son Alejandro Fernández and his grandson, Alex Fernández. “All I want to say to God and to my public is that you know you are a part of me until the day they bury me. Thank you,” he said after his performance.
Below, artists remember and honor Vicente Fernández.
DESCANSA EN PAZ #VicenteFernandez 🇲🇽 🕊
— DON OMAR aka KONG (@DONOMAR) December 12, 2021
Ha partido a la eternidad don Vicente Fernández ,su legado infinito seguirá sonando en los corazones de millones.
Hombre amable y considerado con sus colegas.
Paz don Vicente ,paz a su entrañable familia @alexoficial #Mexico #VicenteFernandez
— Ricardo Montaner (@montanertwiter) December 12, 2021
Día triste, sin palabras. La historia de la música Mexicana llevará siempre tu nombre Vicente, amigo, eres y serás EL REY por siempre.
Tu legado será historia. Mi abrazo a todos los suyos. #DEP pic.twitter.com/krW3IWAgmv
— Alejandro Sanz (@AlejandroSanz) December 12, 2021
Se nos fue un Grande, un artista que siempre puso el nombre de México en lo más alto, Descanse en paz Vicente Fernández, gracias por tu legado musical y fílmico. Mis condolencias a la familia Fernández
— Horacio Palencia (@horaciopalencia) December 12, 2021