In Memoriam: Fallen Stars of 2021
The world is mourning the loss of a musical legend.
On Sunday, Dec. 12, Vicente Fernández, who was dubbed the “King of Rancheras,” “The Charro from Huentitán” and the “Idol of Mexico,” died at the age of 81 after being hospitalized in the ICU due to a recent fall that left him in critical condition, the illustrious singer’s Instagram page confirmed.
“It was an honor and a great pride to share with everyone his great musical career and to give everything to his audience,” a statement read on Instagram, which was translated from Spanish to English. “Thank you for continuing to applaud, thank you for continuing to sing.”
According to NBC Los Angeles, the mariachi icon died in Guadalajara, his home state of Jalisco.
News of Vicente’s death comes four months after his family revealed on Instagram that he was hospitalized due to a fall at his ranch. Although his family stated that he was in “serious but stable ” condition, they said he was placed on a ventilator because of his poor respiratory system.
NBC Los Angeles reported that he suffered from Guillain-Barré syndrome—a rare disorder where the body’s immune system damages nerves, per the CDC—which made it difficult for the “El Rey” singer to recover.
Vicente, whose family is considered a musical dynasty, shared four children with his wife, María del Refugio Abarca Villaseñor: Vicente Fernández Jr., 58, Alejandro Fernández, 50, Gerardo Fernández, 44 and Alejandra Fernández, 37, who the couple adopted from María’s sister.
On Sunday, Vicente Fernández Jr. expressed his heartache over his father’s loss, writing on Instagram, “Thank you for everything!!! I LOVE YOU FATHER.”
“Today is a difficult and painful day for the world of music with the loss of a Mexican titan who, for decades, took his roots to the highest all over the world,” Gloria Estefan wrote on Instagram. “Don Vicente Fernández leaves us with a legacy of songs, movies and new generations who will continue to sing his songs and elevate his name with every note. Sharing my condolences to his family and with everyone who loved and respected him.”
Ricky Martin also honored the music legend, sharing on Twitter, “My heart is broken. Don Chente was an angel to me his entire life. He loved me and I loved him. Whenever I went to Guadalajara, he’d come to my concerts.”
“The only thing that makes my soul feel better in this moment is that every time that we saw each other, I told him how important he was to me,” he added. “All my love and strength to his family and everyone suffering this great loss.”
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Mario Lopez also shared a special tribute to the Grammy winner.
“Vicente Fernandez was not just a singer. He was the voice of a culture who filled the households of many of us who grew up listening to his songs,” Mario wrote. “His music is the soundtrack to a ton of memories growing up.. Damn, I’m sad.”
“Sad news today,” George Strait wrote. “We lost The amazing legendary Vicente Fernández this morning. One of my heroes. May he Rest In Peace and may God bless and comfort his family. Hasta la Cruz Chente!!”
“He’ll always be ‘The King,'” Maluma shared on Instagram. “Sending a hug filled with strength to his family whom I love.”
Vicente is most known for his hit-makers: “El Rey,” “Volver, Volver” and “Por Tu Maldito Amor.” He last performed onstage with his son Alejandro and grandson Alex Fernández at the 2019 Latin Grammys.
During the ceremony, he also received the President’s Award.
Throughout his decades-long career, he won three Grammy Awards and eight Latin Grammys. He also starred in countless films, including La ley del Monte, El Arracadas and Intacto.
In addition, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1998.
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