Legendary Mexican singer Vicente Fernández, who inspired many a new generation of performers in South America and Latin-speaking nations, passed away at 6:15 a.m. in a hospital in Jalisco state on Sunday. He was 81. A three-time Grammy Award-winner, the iconic singer who was called by his nickname "Chente", also has to his credit nine Latin Grammys and is known most notably for his hits like 'El Rey', 'Volver, Volver' and 'Lástima que seas ajena' and attracted fans sans borders with his mariachi and mastery of the ranchera styles. Announcing the sad news on his Instagram official account, Fernández’s family said, "It was an honor and a great pride to share with everyone a great musical career and give everything for the audience. Thank you for continuing to applaud, thank you for continuing to sing." 

Back in August, Fernández took a serious fall and was hospitalized for treatment. "One of the most important artists of Mexican popular culture, the undisputed symbol of ranchera music, dies. A million mariachis accompany you on your way," Alejandra Frausto, Mexico’s culture secretary, paid her respects to the singer on Twitter. She further suggested that Fernández frequently sang on December 12 to mark the Catholic pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. The commemoration of the event that usually witnesses large crowds was being held on Sunday since it was canceled last year due to the pandemic. 

Vicente Fernández has sold more than 50 million records, while also making appearances in more than 20 films. He bid goodbye in 2016 to his career in front of an audience of 85,000 in Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. Fans from across Mexico, including the United States, Colombia and other Latin American nations traveled to witness his final performance.