Vicente Fernández, the Mexican Icon and ‘King of Rancheras,’ Dead at 81 – NBC Los Angeles

on Dec12
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Vicente Fernández, the Mexican entertainer whose illustrious career as the “king of rancheras” spanned decades in music, film and TV, has died, Noticias Telemundo reports. He was 81.

“Rest in peace, Mr. Vicente Fernández. We regret to inform you of his death on Sunday, December 12 at 6:15 a.m.,” a post on the singer’s Instagram page said. “It was an honor and a 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.”

PHOTOS: Vicente Fernández Through the Years

The cultural icon had numerous health issues in recent years.

In 2012, Fernández underwent a complex surgery that removed almost half of his liver because of a tumor. A year after that he faced pulmonary thrombosis, and in March 2015, the singer had three hernias removed.

This year, Fernández was hospitalized after suffering a fall at his ranch. He also was faced with the release of photos that appeared to show him touching women without their consent while he was posing with them. He was also accused of sexual abuse by singer Lupita Castro. Fernandez has denied any inappropriate behavior.

Fernández was known as “Chente” to his adoring fans. His songs are a staple in Hispanic households, but his music was internationally known. They include the hits “El rey,” “Volver, volver” and “Por tu maldito amor.” He has sold more than 65 million albums and filmed more than 35 movies. He won three Grammys and eight Latin Grammys, in addition to being named Person of the Year by the Latin Recording Academy in 2002.

In 1998, Fernández received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, shared a statement on Fernandez’s death.

“My condolences to family, friends and the millions of admirers of Vicente Fernández, a symbol of the ranchera music of our time, known and recognized in Mexico and abroad,” he said on Twitter.

He was born in 1940 in Guadalajara in the Mexican state of Jalisco.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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