Legendary Mexican ranchera singer Vicente Fernandez dies at 81

Mexican singer Vicente Fernandez performs during the opening ceremony of the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Legendary Mexican singer Vicente Fernandez, an emblematic figure of ranchera music, died on Sunday at the age of 81, according to a message posted on his official Instagram account.

Fernandez died at 6:15 a.m. local time, the post said. He had been suffering medical complications after a fall at his home that injured his cervical spine and required an operation.

Known as “El Charro de Huentitan” for the town where he was born in the western state of Jalisco, his lyrics of love and heartbreak spanned more than five decades. His prolific career is widely considered an essential part of Mexican popular music.

With a signature thick mustache and long sideburns, the singer of classic hits like “Mujeres Divinas” and “Por Tu Maldito Amor” performed to packed houses on stages in Europe, the United States and Latin America.

In 2016, Fernandez retired from the stage with a final concert of nearly 50 songs at Mexico City’s Azteca stadium.

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