Skip to main content

Grupo Límite


Formed: 1995, Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico

Members: Alicia Villarreal, bandleader, vocals (Martha Alicia Villarreal Esparza, born Monterrey, Mexico, 31 August 1974); Gerardo Padilla, keyboards, accordion; Sergio Ponce, guitar; Johnny Cantú, bass; Carlos Ramírez, percussion; Frank García, drums.

Genre: Latin

Best-selling album since 1990: Partiéndome el Alma (1996)

Hit songs since 1990: "Te Aprovechas," "El Príncipe," "Sentimientos"

With sing-along choruses, energized cumbia rhythms, and photogenic appeal, Grupo Límite helped modernize norteño music and popularize it with Mexico's middle class. Norteño ensembles, which represent the rural musical folklore of northern Mexico, traditionally comprise a vocalist, accordionist, bajo sexto (twelve-string guitar) player, and a drummer. Límite added keyboards and electric guitar. The group's sound and look sparked a wave of imitators in the Tejano and norteño camps when they emerged in 1995. Other ingredients of Límite's success were the childlike vocals of the singer/songwriter Alicia Villarreal and the novelty of a female-led norteño act. Villarreal even has her own catch phrase, a flirtatious "ah -hah" that quickly became part of the Límite mystique, as did her blond braids.

Villarreal began singing in hotel lobby bars while still in high school in Monterrey. Eventually, she teamed with Padilla and Cantú to form the nucleus of what became Grupo Límite. After recording a demo, the band approached all the labels in Monterrey, but it was during a trip to Mexico City that Límite attracted serious attention from PolyGram (now Universal).

In 1995 Límite produced their debut album, Por Puro Amor. It came just months after the untimely death of Selena, who, at age twenty-three, was the best-selling artist in the musically similar Texas-Mexican genre known as Tejano. The album's bouncy style and female lead vocals drew inevitable comparisons to Selena. In fact, Límite is one of the few Mexico-based groups to be embraced by Tejano fans, who generally prefer their music made in Texas. Yet the group's original songwriting and accordion-rooted norteño vibe helped it stand on its own. The album produced "Te Aprovechas," Límite's signature hit, plus the cumbia singles "Esta Vez" and "Con La Misma Piedra."

The sophomore album Partiéndome el Alma (1996) kept the momentum going with the Billboard chart singles "El Príncipe" and "Solo Contigo." Límite's ingratiating approach helped spread norteño, often considered working-class music, to new upscale audiences in Monterrey. The group's impact on Mexico's pop scene was evident on De Corazón al Corazón (1998), which contained Villarreal-penned "Pasión," a duet with the preppy young crooner Cristián Castro.

Villarreal married the ruggedly handsome soccer player Arturo Carmona in 1998. The couple had a daughter, Melanie Aidee, but split in 2001. That year Villarreal took a chance with a mariachi solo album, Soy Lo Prohibido. The album rose to number three on Billboard 's Top Latin Albums chart, largely on the strength of the antimacho torch song "Te Quedó Grande la Yegua," which tells off an unfaithful lover.

Límite underwent a makeover in 2002. Villarreal undid the braids, and the group threw out the cowboy look in favor of a mall-rat wardrobe. Soy Así (2002) was produced by A. B. Quintanilla and Cruz Martinez, leaders of Texas-based cumbia-rap group Kumbia Kings. Featuring the rhythmic jam "Papacito," the album updated Límite's sound with overdubbed vocals and touches of funk.

One of the driving forces behind the resurgence of norteño music of the late 1990s and early 2000s, Límite has done much to urbanize and update Mexico's beloved rural-rooted genre.


Por Puro Amor (Polygram, 1995); Partiéndome el Alma (Polygram, 1996); Sentimientos (Polygram, 1997); De Corazón al Corazón (Polygram, 1998); Por Encima de Todo (Universal, 2000); Soy Así (Universal, 2002).

ramiro burr

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Grupo Límite." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . 20 Apr. 2019 <>.

"Grupo Límite." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . (April 20, 2019).

"Grupo Límite." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Retrieved April 20, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.