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Legendary Mexican singer Vicente Fernández has died at the age of 81, as announced on his official social media accounts on Sunday morning. “It was an honor and a great pride to share with everyone a great music career and to give everything for his audience,” read the statement. “Thank you for continuing to applaud, thank you for continuing to sing.”
This news comes a few months after he took a fall at his ranch in Guadalajara, Mexico. In August, the Grammy Award winner and cultural icon was in the intensive care unit after undergoing neck surgery. Fernández injured his cervical spine in the accident. Doctors had him listed as in critical but stable condition. According to a post on his official Facebook account, Fernández was on a ventilator in the ICU.
In October, Fernández was released from the Intensive Care Unit. “We are pleased to notify you that Mr. Vicente Fernández is out of the Intensive Care Unit [and] in a hospital room where he will continue his treatment and rehabilitation,” a statement from his doctors read.
Born in Guadalajara in 1940, “Chente,” as everyone knew him, began his professional career in 1966 with the release of his first song, “Perdóname,” with CBS Mexico, which is now the Latin label owned by Sony Music Entertainment. Since then, he’s become one of the best-selling artists in music history. Fernández was inducted into Billboard’s Latin Music Hall of Fame in 1998 and the International Latin Music Hall of Fame in 2002. He was also honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Fans are already speaking out on the impact of the legendary singer, including politician Julian Castro. “Vicente Fernandez’s music inspired and brought joy to generations of music lovers throughout the world, he tweeted. “Very few can truly be called an icon, but he certainly was. RIP El Rey.”