Vicente Fernández (Mexican singer)
Legal name: Vicente Fernández Gómez
Vicente "Chente" Fernández Gómez (born February 17, 1940) is a Mexican Grammy Award winning recording singer, actor, and film producer.
Nicknamed as "El Rey de la Cancion Ranchera" (The King of Ranchera Music) throughout the Hispanosphere, 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. He is the father of the popular singer Alejandro Fernández and Vicente Fernandez Jr, and uncle of Jackeline ("Jackie") Fernandez. Vicente Fernandez has won 7 Latin Grammy Awards and 1 Grammy award.
For over 40 years, Vicente Fernandez has maintained his position as the greatest living singer of Mexico, gathering an operatic vocal range, with a deep understanding of the roots of ranchera music. He is renowned for his melodramatic voice. In the dozens of Mexican films in which he has been a star, a role he often was left to perfection: the proud charro, or Mexican cowboy.
Although less well-known to English-speaking audiences, Fernandez has consistently filled stadiums and venues throughout his 35-plus years of performing. 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 plays no instrument live. He has sold over 50 million copies worldwide. Fernandez's net worth is $25 million.
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Born in the Guadalajara, Jalisco suburb of Huentitán El Alto, Fernández spent his early years on his father Ramon's ranch on the outskirts of Guadalajara. He also worked from 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.