Vicente Fernández (born Vicente Fernández Gómez on February 17, 1940) is a Mexican ranchera singer. He is the father of Alejandro Fernández, also a popular Mexican artist. Fernández's life could be described as a rags-to-riches story—having come from humble beginnings, he eventually established himself as a famous musician.
In his native Mexico, Vicente Fernández is hailed as the "king of the rancheras." He was born and raised in Huentitán el Alto, Jalisco, Mexico on February 17, 1940 to a poor family and had to work in his childhood to maintain himself. Fernandez worked as a shoeshine boy, a waiter and dishwasher. Later, he served as cashier and manager of his uncle's restaurant. During his youth he sung at a festival in Arandas, Jalisco. He was booed off the stage by the audience and vowed never to sing to the city again."
Vicente got his start when he won a Guadalajara singing contest. At age 21 he was in the show "La Calandria Musical" where he received his first payment for singing. He earned 35 pesos. He and his ranchera music have become most popular in Latin America and in Spain.
At 21, Fernandez decided to make his living by singing. Initially, he sang for tips at the Amanecer Tapatio, serenaded drivers who sat waiting to move in traffic, and continued with "La Calandria Musical." From there he went on to sing with some of Mexico's best-known mariachi groups, such as Amanecer de Pepe Mendoza and the Mariachi of Jose Luis Aguilar. It was through these groups that he met Felipe Arriaga.
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