LOS ANGELES — He’s a national icon, on a scale perhaps even bigger than that of Frank Sinatra to the U.S. or Cliff Richard to Great Britain. From classic ballads including “Volver, Volver” to “Por Tu Maldito Amor,” Vicente Fernandez is perhaps the most iconic of all Mexican recording artists, with popularity spanning generations across Latin America and in U.S. communities with Hispanics of Mexican heritage.
Fernandez died on Sunday (12/12) at 6:15am local time, at a hospital in Guadalajara. He was 81 years old. News of his passing was first shared on his Instagram account, which had previously offered health updates after a recent fall in his home, which required an operation and injured his cervical spine; some 1.93 million likes have been made to the posting.
Within minutes, radio stations in Los Angeles and across the U.S. raced to scrap programming and devote their airwaves to Fernandez — recognizable to non-Hispanics perhaps for his trademark oversized sombrero.