More than just the undisputed king of
Mexico's traditional ranchera music, Vicente Fernández -- "El Idolo de
Mexico" -- is one of that country's most recognizable and influential
cultural icons. Since his emergence in the mid-'60s, Fernández's popularity
has escalated to the point that his status among Mexicans and
Mexican-Americans has been likened to that of Frank Sinatra and Elvis
Presley in the United States. His concerts both in Mexico and the U.S.
routinely sell out despite a near-total dearth of non-Latino media coverage,
and his 100-plus albums have reportedly sold in excess of 50 million copies.
Fernández has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, has been
nominated for Grammy Awards, and has collected a number of honors, including
being named Person of the Year by the Latin Recording Academy in 2002 and
garnering membership in the International Latin Music Hall of Fame.
With his supersized sombreros, prominent
black mustache, and eye-popping costumes, and an orchestra overpopulated
with horns and strings players in glittery, matching mariachi outfits, the
glitzy Fernández on-stage is an imposing, larger-than-life figure. Matching
his visual presentation is an operatic voice that plumbs the depths of the
emotional spectrum to connect on an intimate level with his audience, which
relates to the singer's humble beginnings and everyman song lyrics.