The national treasure of Mexico, Vicente Fernández, has passed away.

Helen Dunmore

On the same day that Mexicans commemorate the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mexico’s ranchera music legend, noted for tracks such as “El Rey” and “Volver, Volver,” passed away.

Vicente Fernández, Mexico’s musical legend, has died. Vicente Fernandez, the king of ranchera music, succumbed to a heart attack in his native state of Jalisco while at the hospital. He was 81 years old.

“Rest in Peace, Mr. Vicente Fernández. We regret to inform you of his death on Sunday, December 12 at 6:15 a.m.,” according to a post on his Instagram account.

“It was an honor and great pride to share with everyone a great musical career and to give everything for his audience. Thank you for continuing to applaud, thank you for continuing to sing.”

Fernández was famous for romantic songs about love, desire, and the countryside that were well-known to U.S. listeners. “Volver, Volver,” “El Rey,” and “Por Tu Maldito Amor” are just a few of the Spanish-language songs featured in this collection.

Many works have been translated into other languages as well: for example, Jimena Artiles and Alvaro Luque’s ” He was considered one of the last artists to make ranchera music, a type that is derived from rural Mexico.

In 1998, Fernández was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He has three Grammys and eight Latin Grammys to his name, among other accolades. He’s acted in over 30 films and sold more than 50 million records.

On October 12, the legendary Mexican musician Salomé Fernández died. She was 90 years old. The same day that Mexico honors the Virgen de Guadalupe, or Virgin of Guadalupe, the country mourns her death. For Mexicans and Mexican Americans, December 12 is a holy day.

It occurred on December 12, 1531, when the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to Juan Diego, an indigenous Mexican, in his final manifestation.

Fernández was such a household name that Telemundo, NBC’s Spanish-language network, cut into its live coverage of the Virgin of Guadalupe festivities in Mexico to announce his passing. The announcement was met with sadness on social media, as major Mexican publications spread the news.

Fernández was born on Feb. 17, 1940, in Jalisco, the son of a cattle rancher. His father’s ranch was where he grew up.

He had recently been diagnosed with a tumor in his liver and other health issues.

In April 2016, Fernández bid farewell to a live performance at a massive concert at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, where more than 80,000 people from across the world attended. This year, he was admitted to the hospital after a fall on his ranch.

María del Refugio Abarca Villaseñor, and three children survive him.

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