When Alejandro Fernández finished recording Hecho En Mexico, he took the album to his father Vicente Fernández a few days before it was scheduled to be released in February 2020.
“I wanted his opinion,” the 50-year-old Mexican singer previously told Billboard during a sit-down interview in Los Angeles last year.
It was something Alejandro would often do, seek his father’s opinion, but this release was even more special. It was his grand return to recording ranchera music following a successful crossover to pop. And when it comes to ranchera, his dad was, after all, known as El Rey (The King).
Fernández died on Sunday (Dec. 12) at 81 in a hospital in Guadalajara. A ranchera titan, for whom Mexican music was everything, family was as equally important. Father to Alejandro, Vicente Jr., Gerardo and daughter Alejandra, he would often invite Alejandro onstage to sing ranchera anthems such as “Amor de los Dos,” “Perdón” and “Volver Volver.”
But actual recordings in a studio, there aren’t many featuring the father and son duo. “When I was showing my dad the new album I told him, ‘Do you realize that we’ve only recorded one song together once and it was at the very beginning of my career and we never did it again?’” Alejandro said. “So I suggested that it would be cool if he could support me by recording another duo for this album, especially since it was my return to Mexican music.”
His father agreed. Out of the 11 songs on Hecho En México, Fernández picked “Mentí” to record with his son. “He loved that song and he went on to record his part in a day,” Alejandro recalled. “I had to hand over the album in two days so he got to work and was able to finish right on deadline. It worked out perfectly.”
The only other song they had recorded is “Qué Pregunta Muchacho” included in Alejandro’s self-titled, debut album released in 1992. “As a father, I can’t do anything else but give him my blessing and now that he loves this career so much, I wish that it goes well for him, just how it’s been for me,” Fernández said during one of their early performances together in the ’90s.
Supporting his kids’ careers, from Vicente Jr. to Alejandro, was one of his most memorable qualities and he also went on to become one of his grandson’s biggest fans and supporters. Alex Fernández, 28-year-old son of Alejandro, joined his grandfather and father at the 2019 Latin Grammys to sing a medley of “Te Amaré,” “Caballero,” “La Derrota” and “Volver Volver.”
“It’s been a beautiful process but I’ve also learned so much from them. I think of them as my guardian angels who although are titans in the music industry, they’re also excellent teachers,” Alex previously told Billboard. “One of my major accomplishments so far would be performing at the Latin Grammys with the two people that are not only my teachers but are my family.”
The Fernández family confirmed his death via an official statement posted on social media. “Rest in peace, Sr. Vicente Fernández. We regret to inform you that he passed away Sunday, December 12 at 6:15a.m. It was an honor sharing with you all a great musical trajectory when he gave it his all to his fans. Thank you for your applauses, and for always singing along.”