Hillary Clinton's campaign organized a Mexican fiesta in Las Vegas, Nevada, Wednesday to watch the final presidential debate, featuring guests of honor who are stars of Mexican pop culture: Los Tigres del Norte, a Mexican norteño group, ranchera singer Vicente Fernández and actress/singer Angélica María.
These Mexican stars not only wield influence in Mexico, but among U.S. Hispanics, too. Plus, all of them come from an older generation, indicating an attempt to appeal to older Latinos. Fernández, for example, retired less than six months ago.
Why Vicente Fernández is still the king of rancheras
The 76-year-old, originally from Guadalajara, has a long and storied career. His rancheras have transcended Mexico’s borders, both to the north and the south, representing Mexican culture worldwide.
He’s also a living example of the possibility of success that comes with hard work and effort; he has humble origins and his career was built slowly over time. He began to sing at friend’s parties in Jalisco, and became well-known in Mexico City. A decade later, in the 1970s, he found international success. His first international hit was " Volver, volver," which became one of Mexico’s most emblematic rancheras.
Around that time, he also had success in film, with works like " La ley del monte."
A prolific discography and a large number of international shows have kept Fernández in the public eye for decades.
Among his awards are "Mr. Amigo," several Billboard Awards, Person of the Year (by the Latin Recording Academy) and a star with his name on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Los Tigres del Norte, representatives of the border
This group also got its start in the 1960s and has since grown into the most famous performer of norteña music in Mexico and the world.
They began on the border, first in Mexico, and then slowly found their way to the U.S. side. They now live in San José, California.
Their success has been influenced, in part, by the fact that corridos have spread in popularity around the world. The controversial songs, which tell epic stories of characters from the north, have been linked to drug trafficking. Courts have even considered bans on the songs.
Controversy aside, the band has sold some 30 million albums and has won awards and Grammy nominations, not to mention huge sold-out shows.
Angélica María: a beloved cultural icon
Daughter of an American musician, Angélica María, now 72, was born in New Orleans and is one of the most famous figures in Mexican popular culture.
The actress and singer began her career at age four as a film actress, including an appearance with Pedro Infante, the biggest icon of Mexican popular culture in the last century during the so-called Golden Cinema era. She later became one of a new breed of rock and roll singers.
Charismatic, beautiful and accessible, as well as free of personal scandals, she acted in both dramas and comedies, which helped win over the public who knew her as a child and regarded her almost as family and a role model. She was known at the time as the “high school sweetheart,” and then, as her fame spread across the country, she would become “Mexico's girlfriend.”
Angelica Maria's fame also reached across Latin America and even to the United States where she won a Grammy in 2008.