Iconic Mexican singer Vicente Fernandez dead at age 81

Fans of traditional Mexican music are mourning the death of an icon this week.

According to reports, 81-year-old Vicente Fernandez died on Sunday.

Four months after serious fall

He is best known as a musician in the ranchero and mariachi styles. A statement from his family on his official Instagram profile confirmed that he died at a hospital in his hometown of Guadalajara.

As NPR reported, Fernandez was hospitalized about four months earlier with serious spinal injuries sustained during a fall on his ranch.

Although he had reportedly made steady improvements, his health is said to have taken a turn for the worse. His family revealed that he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which is an autoimmune disorder attacking the body’s nervous system.

Fernandez attained widespread stardom during a career that spanned six decades. He became known for crooning traditional Mexican songs while donning an embroidered charro-style cowboy outfit — complete with an oversized sombrero on his head and a six-shooter on his hip.

He appeared in a number of films and TV shows over the years, which further added to his fame and recognizability.

An illustrious decades-long career

As the Daily Caller reported, Fernandez sold more than 50 million albums during his career and was recognized with honors including an induction into the Billboard Latin Music Hall of Fame, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, three Grammy Awards, and eight Latin Grammys.

Fernandez began his career in the 1960s and held a final live performance in 2016. In that last concert, he performed more than 40 songs and spent four hours entertaining a crowd of more than 80,000 fans packed into Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.

The Mexican musician weighed in on U.S. politics occasionally, performing in support of GOP candidate George W. Bush in 2000 and writing a song supporting Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton 16 years later.

Politics aside, he was honored in 2012 when officials in Chicago, Illinois, named a street after him and gave him a key to the city.

President Joe Biden offered a statement memorializing the renowned performer, writing: “The music world has lost an icon. The music of Vicente Fernandez created memories for millions. We send our condolences to his family and all those who loved him. Vicente will be remembered for generations to come.”

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