Fernandez, Alejandro

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Alejandro Fernandez

Singer

For the Record…

Selected discography

Sources

Alejandro Fernandez, son of Mexican music star Vicente Fernandez, is one of the most famous Mexican singers of ballads, love songs, and mariachi music. Well known outside Mexico, Fernandez has played in many of the world’s great venues, including New York’s Madison Square Garden. His songs have appeared regularly atop the Latin pop charts since his album debut in 1991; in 2000 he was awarded the Latin Grammy for Best Ranchero Performance. In 2000-01 he received the Tito Guizar Award for Best Singer and Performer in Mexican and Hispanic Music.

Fernandez was born in 1971 in Mexico City, and raised in the Mexican city of Guadalajara. Growing up, he and his family divided their time between the country, where Fernandez learned to ride horses, and the city. This gave him the experience he needed to sing equally well of both the Mexican countryside and its rancheros, and of city life.

Since his father is the renowned Mexican singer Vicente Fernandez, music was an integral part Fernandez’s home life, which also contributed to his later success. Ramiro Burr of the San Antonio Express-News called the elder Fernandez “the most important and influential ranchera singer in the world.” This has given his son a great deal to live up to, but he seems equal to the challenge.

Fernandez first performed in public when he was just four years old (some sources say five). His father had brought him on tour to the United States, and at a concert in San Antonio, Texas, brought his son on stage to play with him. Facing a crowd of 10, 000 people, Fernandez performed the song “Alejandra.” The experience had a profound effect on the boy; he broke down in tears immediately afteward.

At the age of six, Fernandez earned his first paycheck as a performer when he starred in the film Picardia Mexicana, and continued to hone his skills as he grew at Mexican rodeo fairs, building a fan base of his own. Fernandez made his recording debut with the song “Amor de los Dos” (Our Love). A duet sung with his father, the song appeared on his father’s album Mexico, Voz y Sentimiento. When Fernandez was 19, he cut his first solo tune, “El Andariego” (The Wanderer), which appeared on another of his father’s albums.

Despite his musical success, Fernandez chose a career in engineering (some sources say architecture) before deciding to become a full-time musician. He even went so far as to enroll in engineering program at Atemajac Valley University. But after his second year at the school, Fernandez realized engineering was the wrong path for him, and he devoted all of his future efforts to following in his father’s footsteps.

His early years as a professional musician were spent on tour with his father. After this apprenticeship,

For the Record…

Born on April 24, 1971, in Mexico City, Mexico; son of Vicente Fernandez (a singer) and Maria del Refugio Abarca.

Played in concert with father at the age of four; became a professional entertainer at six when he appeared in the film Picardia Mexicana; made recording debut in a duet with his father, “Amor de los dos,” on his father’s album Mexico, Voz y Sentimiento; made solo recording debut at 19, with the song “El andariego,” which appeared on another of his father’s albums; dropped out of architecture school to become a full-time musician; released first solo album, Alejandro Fernandez on the Sony label, 1991; released Piel de Niña, 1993; Que Seas Muy; Feliz, 1995; Mui/Dentro de Mi Corazón, 1997; Me Estoy Enamorando, 1997; Mi Verdad, 1999; contributed to the album Christmastime in Vienna, 1999; released Entre Tus Brazos, 2000; Orígenes, 2001; 100 Años de Musica Mexicana, 2002; and Niña, Amada Mia, 2003.

Awards: Latin Grammy Award, Best Ranchero Performance for “Mi Verdad,” 2000; Tito Guizar Award, Best Singer and Performer in Mexican and Hispanic Music, 2000-01.

Addresses: Record company—Sony Music, 2100 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90404-3504, phone: (310) 449-2100. Website— Alejandro Fernandez Official Website: http://www.alejandrofernandez.com

Fernandez felt it was time, as he told Fernando Romero in the San Diego Union-Tribune,”to fly solo.” After one last joint tour, which Fernandez called a “goodbye tour,” Fernandez launched his career as an independent solo artist.

Fernandez burst upon the Mexican music scene at 21 with a self-titled debut album in 1991 on the Sony Discos label, launching a Mexican and American concert tour to promote it. From then on, he released an average of an album a year through Sony. Following his debut came Piel de Niña (A Girl’s Skin) in 1993, Que Seas Muy Feliz (May You Be Very Happy) in 1995, and Muy Dentro de Mi Corazón (Deep within My Heart) in 1997.

Me Estoy Enamorando (I’m Falling in Love), also released in 1997, marked a milestone in Fernandez’scareer. With this album he became a truly international star, with sales passing the 2.2 million mark worldwide. No fewer than four singles from this album appeared in the number-one position on the Billboard Latin charts: the album’s title track, “Si Tu Supieras” (If You Knew), “En el Jardin” (In the Garden), and “Yo Naci Para Amarte” (I Was Born to Love You). “En el Jardin” was recorded as a duet with Latin pop star Gloria Estefan.

In 1999 Fernandez released Mi Verdad. One of this album’s tracks, “Si He Sabido Amar,” was chosen as the theme song of the Mexican soap opera Infierno en el Paraíso. The album’s title track earned Fernandez a Latin Grammy in 2000, the first year that they were presented. In that same year, Fernandez sang in English on the Sony album Christmastime in Vienna, which also features the vocal talents of the great tenor Placido Domingo and French singer Patricia Kass. Fernandez also released Entre Tus Brazos in 2000.

The following year, 2001, was an extremely significant one for Fernandez. In addition to a new album release, Origenes, he was given the Tito Guizar Award for Best Singer and Performer in Mexican and Hispanic Music, an award he also earned in 2000. The award, named after the late singer and actor Tito Guizar, was awarded by Guizar’s son, Tito Guizar, Jr. Finally, Fernandez and his famous father launched an American concert tour. The idea for the tour was born when the elder Fernandez invited his son, as he so often did, to join him onstage during one of his concerts, this time in Los Angeles. The wildly enthusiastic reception from their fans amazed even them. They launched the “Invincible Ties” tour in San Jose, California, and Phoenix, Arizona, in July of 2001. For Fernandez, it was the perfect way to express his admiration and affection for the man who is a close friend and mentor as well as his father.

The American tour also marked the start of a process that would eventually end with the elder Fernandez’s retirement. As Fernandez told Fernando Romero in the San Diego Union-Tribune, “[My father] wants to start enjoying everything he has earned during his hardworking life.” Since the elder Fernandez had started playing music professionally at the age of eight, this will be a much-deserved rest.

Selected discography

Alejandro Fernandez, Sony, 1991.

Piel de Nina, Sony, 1993.

Que Seas Muy Feliz, Sony, 1995.

Muy Dentro de Mi Corazon, Sony, 1997.

Me Estoy Enamorando, Sony, 1997.

Mi Verdad, Sony, 1999.

Entre Tus Brazos, Sony, 2000.

Origenes, Sony, 2001.

100 Años de Musica Mexicana, Sony, 2002.

Nina, Amada Mia, Sony, 2003.

Sources

Periodicals

San Antonio Express-News (San Antonio, TX), May 31, 2001, p. 6F; September 21, 2002, p. 4F.

San Diego Union-Tribune (San Diego, CA), July 14, 2001, p. E1.

Online

“Alejandro Fernandez,” All Music Guide, http://www.allmusic.com (March 19, 2003).

“Alejandro Fernandez,” Sony Discos, http://www.sonydiscos.com/discos/content.nsf/biofëOOOI113024002_79?Open&language=english (April 4, 2003).

Alejandro Fernandez Official Website, http://www.alejandrofernandez.com (March 19, 2003).

Michael Belfiore

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