Vicente Fernández, ‘King of Rancheras’ Music, Dies at 81

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo by Rocky Widner/FilmMagic via Getty Images)

Vicente Fernández passed away this morning at the age of 81. The mariachi star and King of Rancheras suffered a fall on his ranch back in August. Since then, his family reported that he was in a “serious but stable” condition. He was in the ICU on a ventilator.

Vicente Fernández’s family confirmed his death via an Instagram post. People translated that post into English. The post read, in part, “It was an honor and great pride to share with everyone his great musical career. He gave everything to his audience.” The post went on to address his fans. “Thank you for continuing to applaud, thank you for continuing to sing.”

The Fall That Ultimately Killed Vicente Fernández

On August 10th, Vicente Fernández’s family shared the news that the Mexican legend was in the ICU. He fell while working on his ranch in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. At that time, they listed his condition as “serious but stable.” By all reports, it stayed that way until earlier today when Fernández slipped away.

The Life of the ‘Mexican Idol’

When he passed, Vicente Fernández had earned a couple of impressive nicknames. For instance, he was the King of Rancheras as well as El Ídolo de México, or, The Mexican Idol. He earned those monikers through a lifetime of hard work and dedication to his craft.

Vicente Fernández was born, raised, lived, and died in the Mexican state of Jalisco. He also began his musical career there as a street performer at a young age. Then, in 1966, when Fernández was 26 he signed to CBS Records in Mexico. That truly kicked off his career. He reigned as King of Rancheras for 55 years. Additionally, Fernández appeared in several films.

Vicente Fernández on the Screen

Between 1969 and 1991, Vicente Fernández appeared in 36 films, according to IMDb. His first was Oh, Delilah. Then, he appeared in films like Tacos al carbon, Jalisco nunca pierde, La ley del monte, and Por to maidito amor. His final role was Luis Fuentes in Mi querido viejo.

In those films, Vicente Fernández combined his two careers. Of course, he acted. Additionally, he added music to each one of his films. Audiences would hear him sing his popular mariachi songs as well as covers of classic rancheras.

However, moviegoers weren’t the only ones to hear the King of Rancheras’ music. He allowed many of his songs to be used as the theme music for telenovelas.

Fernández Para Siempre

Over the years, Vicente Fernández wrote and cut some iconic mariachi songs. Tunes like Por Tu Maldito Amor,” “Hermoso Cariño,” “Acá Entre Nos,” “Mujeres Divinas,” and “Volver Volver,” remain iconic. Additionally, many fans still love his covers of rancheras like “El Rey” and “Camino de Guanajuato.”

The world lost a true legend today. But, through his music and films, we’ll remember Vicente Fernández forever. Rest easy, Rey de Rancheras.