Vicente "Chente" Fernández Gómez (born 17 February 1940) is a Mexican retired singer, actor, and film producer. Nicknamed "El Rey de la Música Ranchera" (The King of Ranchera Music), Fernández started his career singing for tips on the street, and has since become a cultural icon, recording more than 50 albums and contributing to more than 30 films. His repertoire consists of rancheras and other Mexican classics. He is accompanied live by a mariachi group, but he is not technically a mariachi musician, as he only sings live. Vicente's fame rose after the death of Javier Solís (El Rey del Bolero Ranchero). Vicente was inspired during many of his performances, by his long time friend Celso Baez.
Fernández's work has earned him three Grammy Awards, eight Latin Grammy Awards, fourteen Lo Nuestro Awards, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He has sold over 50 million copies worldwide, making him one of the best-selling regional Mexican artists of all time. In 2016, Fernández retired from performing live, although he continues to record and publish music.Contents
Born on 17 February 1940 in the suburb of Huentitán El Alto in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Fernández spent his early years on his father Ramon's ranch on the outskirts of Guadalajara. He also worked at a young age as a waiter, dish washer, cashier, and finally manager of his uncle's restaurant. "Chente", as he was known to all, became fond of the idyllic ranch lifestyle. His mother often took him to see the films of Pedro Infante; he has said of these films' significance: "When I was 6 or 7, I would go see Pedro Infante's movies, and I would tell my mother, 'When I grow up, I'll be like him.'" By age 8 he had taken up the guitar and was practicing singing in the style of the ranchera singers he heard on the radio. As a boy, Fernández sang at a festival in Arandas, Mexico where he won the contest. Later, at 12, he won 31 pesos in another contest. In 1954 he won an amateur contest sponsored by a Guadalajara television station. It was his first break into performing and he began to play at local clubs and gatherings. Around this time, however, Fernandez's father lost the ranch and the family moved into the city of Tijuana. Fernández, who had dropped out of school in fifth grade, began working jobs in the city such as janitor, dishwasher, waiter and whatever else he could find, all the while holding to his musical aspirations.
In 1960, Fernández devoted himself to music full-time. He went back to Jalisco, where he performed as a busker and occasionally appeared on the television show La Calandria Musical. After a couple of years Fernández tried his luck in Mexico City, where he found a job singing in a restaurant called "El Amanacer Tapatio". When he wasn't working, he was auditioning -unsuccessfully— for record companies. Discouraged, he left around 1963 to marry Maria del Refugio "Cuca" Abarca Villasenor. They now have three sons: Vicente Jr., Gerardo, and Alejandro. Vicente Jr was born 3 months premature in 1963; Fernández's mother died the same week.Breakthrough
In the spring of 1966, Javier Solís, Mexico's most popular traditional singer, died. Discos CBS, the recording label in the Mexican department of CBS Records International, offered Fernández a recording contract. He released his first recording, "Perdóname", with the company in 1966; Fernández still records for the label, which is now Sony Music Latin of Sony Music Entertainment.
He branched into acting with the 1971 film Tacos al Carbón. His first hit movie, for which he did the soundtrack, was 1974's La Ley del Monte. He stopped acting in 1991. Maintaining the ranchera tradition, Fernández always performs wearing the charro, an embroidered suit and sombrero.
In 1970, just as Fernández was about to go onstage, his father died. Overwhelmed by the tragic news but determined not to let the crowd go without a show, Fernández went onstage and performed. By the end of the night the critics were comparing him to other famous ranchera artists like José Alfredo Jiménez, Jorge Negrete, and Javier Solís. Since then his music has expanded rapidly. In 1998, he continued to tour despite the kidnapping of his oldest son. (He was released 4 months later when ransom was paid.)
Fernández has recorded more than 50 albums in 35 years and claims to have recorded 300 more songs, making another 30 albums possible even if he retires. When he records an album, he spends 12–13 hours in the studio recording up to 18 songs; he takes a day off, then returns for another marathon session of recording another 15 or more songs. From this accumulation, he and his producer choose 12 tracks. Fernández's greatest hit was "Volver, volver," released in 1972; his first million-selling album was 1983's 15 Grandes con el número uno. In 1987 he launched his first tour outside the United States and Mexico when he traveled to Bolivia and Colombia. On April 16, 2016 Vicente Fernández performed for the last time in his career at Estadio Azteca effectively announcing his retirement.Awards and nominations This is a dynamic list and may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness. You can help by expanding it with reliably sourced entries. Fernández wearing a black coat with yellow accents
In 1990, Fernández released the album Vicente Fernandez y las clásicas de José Alfredo Jiménez, a tribute to Mexico's famous songwriter José Alfredo Jiménez. The album earned him Billboard and Univision's Latin Music Award for Mexican Regional Male Artist of the Year, which he won 5 times from 1989 to 1993.
In 1998, Fernández was inducted into Billboard's Latin Music Hall of Fame.
In 2002, the Latin Recording Academy recognized Fernández as Person of the Year. That year he celebrated his 35th anniversary in the entertainment industry, a career in which he has sold more than 50 million records and was inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame. He has 51 albums listed on the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for gold, platinum, and multiplatinum selling records. He also has his own star on the walk of fame in Hollywood, California; over 5,000 people attended his star-presentation ceremony, which is a record itself.
Fernández also has an arena in Guadalajara named in his honor, a star placed with his hand prints and name at the Paseo de las Luminarias in Mexico City. In 2010, Fernández was awarded his first Grammy Award for Best Regional Mexican Album for his record Necesito de Tí.
On October 10, 2012, a stretch of 26th Street (a street in a Hispanic neighborhood of Chicago called Little Village) was named in his honor. In 2015, Fernández was awarded his second Grammy Award for Best Regional Mexican Music Album (including Tejano) for the album Mano A Mano – Tangos A La Manera De Vicente Fernández.Grammy Awards
The Grammy Awards are awarded annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States. Fernández received two awards from twelve nominations.Year Nominee/work Award Result 1984 "La Diferencia" Best Mexican-American Performance Nominated 1991 Las Clásicas de José Alfredo Jiménez Best Mexican-American Performance Nominated 1994 Lástima Que Seas Ajena Best Mexican-American Album Nominated 1995 Recordando a Los Panchos Best Mexican-American Performance, Vocal or Instrumental Nominated 1997 Vicente Fernández y sus Canciones Best Mexican-American/Tejano Music Performance Nominated 1999 Entre El Amor y Yo Best Mexican-American Music Performance Nominated 2000 Vicente Fernández y los Más Grandes Éxitos de Los Dandys Best Mexican-American Music Performance Nominated 2001 Lobo Herido Best Mexican-American Music Performance Nominated 2002 Más Con el Número Uno Best Mexican/Mexican-American Album Nominated 2008 Para Siempre Best Mexican/Mexican-American Album Nominated 2010 Necesito de Tí Best Regional Mexican Album Won 2015 Mano a Mano - Tangos a la Manera de Vicente Fernández Best Regional Mexican Music Album (including Tejano) Won 2017 Un Azteca En El Azteca, Vol. 1 (En Vivo) Best Regional Mexican Music Album (including Tejano) Won
^ Each year is linked to the article about the Grammy Awards held that year.Latin Grammy Awards
The Latin Grammy Awards are awarded annually by The Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences of the United States. Fernández received eight awards from fourteen nominations and also earned the Latin Recording Academy for Person of the Year.Year Nominee/work Award Result 2000 Vicente Fernández y los Más Grandes Éxitos de Los Dandys Best Ranchero Album Nominated 2002 Más Con El Número Uno Won 2003 35 Aniversario - Lo Mejor de Lara Won 2004 En Vivo Juntos Por Ultima Vez (shared with Alejandro Fernández) Won Se Me Hizo Tarde la Vida Nominated 2005 Vicente Fernández y Sus Corridos Consentidos Nominated 2007 La Tragedia del Vaquero Nominated 2008 Para Siempre Won Album of the Year Nominated 2009 Primera Fila Best Ranchero Album Won 2010 Necesito de Ti Won 2011 El Hombre Que Más Te Amó Won 2013 Hoy Won 2014 Mano a Mano - Tangos a la Manera de Vicente Fernández Nominated
^ Each year is linked to the article about the Latin Grammy Awards held that year.Lo Nuestro Awards
The Lo Nuestro Awards is an awards show honoring the best of Latin music, presented by television network Univision. Fernández received fourteen awards from thirty three nominations.Year Nominee/work Award Result 1989 Himself Regional Mexican Artist Won El Cuatrero Regional Mexican Album of the Year Nominated "Dos Corazones" (shared with Vikki Carr) Regional Mexican Song of the Year Nominated 1990 Himself Regional Mexican Artist Won Por Tu Maldito Amor Regional Mexican Album of the Year Nominated "Por Tu Maldito Amor" Regional Mexican Song of the Year Won "Mujeres Divinas" Regional Mexican Song of the Year Nominated 1991 Himself Regional Mexican Artist Won "Amor De Los Dos" (shared with Alejandro Fernández) Regional Mexican Song of the Year Nominated 1992 Himself Regional Mexican Male Artist of the Year Won Arriba el Norte y Arriba el Sur (shared with Ramón Ayala Regional Mexican Album of the Year Nominated "Que Sepan Todos" Regional Mexican Song of the Year Nominated 1993 Himself Regional Mexican Male Artist Won Qué De Raro Tiene Regional Mexican Album of the Year Nominated 1996 Himself Regional Mexican Male Artist Nominated Aunque Me Duela el Alma Regional Mexican Album of the Year Nominated 1998 "Nos Estorbó la Ropa" Regional Mexican Song of the Year Nominated 1999 "Me Voy a Quitar de En Medio" Regional Mexican Song of the Year Nominated 2000 Himself Regional Mexican Male Artist Nominated 2001 Himself Regional Mexican Male Artist Nominated Himself Ranchera Performance Nominated Lobo Herido Regional Mexican Album of the Year Nominated 2002 Himself Regional Mexican Male Artist Nominated Himself Ranchera Performance Nominated 2003 Himself People's Internet Choice Award: Regional Mexican Won 2004 Himself Ranchera Performance Nominated 2005 Himself Ranchera Performance Nominated 2006 Himself Ranchera Performance Won 2007 Himself Ranchera Performance Won 2008 Himself Regional Mexican Male Artist Nominated Himself Lifetime Achievement Award Won 2009 Himself Regional Mexican Male Artist Won Himself Ranchera Performance Won 2010 Himself Artist of the Year Nominated Himself Ranchera Performance Won Himself Regional Mexican Male Artist Nominated "El Último Beso" Regional Mexican Song of the Year Nominated 2012 Himself Ranchera Performance Nominated 2013 Himself Ranchera Performance Nominated 2014 Himself Ranchera Performance Won
^ Each year is linked to the article about the Lo Nuestro Awards held that year.Discography Main article: Vicente Fernández discography Filmography