February 17 is one of Mexico’s biggest icon’s birthday! In honor of Chente’s birthday, this blog is about him.
“The Frank Sinatra or ranchera music” as he was called in the Houston Chronicle.
Vicente Fernandez came from humble beginnings, he was born in Huentitan El Alto, Jalisco. His dad was a rancher and his mom was a homemaker. Like many Mexican artists, he was influenced by the likes of Pedro Infante at a young age and when he got his first guitar at 8 years old, his passion for music began.
Chente started his music career singing on the streets for tips, to singing at restaurants and weddings, to now becoming a Mexican icon who is known as “El Idolo de Mexico.” The rags to riches story wasn’t an easy one for him, he constantly pursued his dream despite being turned down multiple times. He got his big break in 1966 after Javier Solis passed away and record companies were looking for the next big singer in Mexico. A tragedy turned into an opportunity for Vicente.
He signed to Sony Discos and has been loyal to the record company until this day.
Many people criticize his usual wear of the traje charro because he didn’t practice charreria. But Chente has a perfectly good reason for doing so; as he stated before “To me, the traje charro is Mexico’s second flag. When I put it on, I become an ambassador.” This goes back to the saying we frequently use, “vestirse de charro es vestirse de Mexico.” The traje charro’s history goes back centuries, and more than just the sport of charreria, it represents the nationalism and pride of Mexican men.
His representation of Mexico went beyond just Mexico, he has received multiple Grammys, sold out many U.S. arenas, including Madison Square Garden, and sold millions of records. El Rey de la Music Ranchera will go down as one of the greats in Mexico’s history, that’s for sure.
Feliz Cumpleaños Chente!