5 Famous Mexican Singers Who Changed the Course of History
Which famous Mexican singers are legends?
Music legends aren’t just born—they’re crafted by society in a powerful dance of awe, admiration, and storytelling. Music lovers worldwide cherish their culture’s legends for what the singers represent and how they’ve affected the ideas and values of the people.
In Mexico, 5 famous Mexican singers dominated the music scene to such heights that they forever changed the course of the country’s history. Instead of focusing on the richest or most attractive music legends of Mexican history, today we’ll honor those who managed to change history in their own way.
Let’s check them out!
Famous Mexican Singers
1. Jorge Negrete
The unique Jorge Negrete was born in Guanajuato, Mexico in 1911. He gained popularity because of his incomparable voice and amazing talent on screen as an actor. Interestingly, he developed his artistic touch in a war-torn, politically tense environment fueled by the Mexican Revolution, which motivated his cinematic appearances to personify patriotism and family values.
In essence, he helped to strengthen the national identity of people, provoking society to view him as one of the most admired public figures in Mexico and a veritable legend.
Despite having a military background, he continued to focus on improving his artistic talents. Back when he was 16, he joined the Mexican military, graduated, and in 1930 he was named captain. Meanwhile, he took singing lessons and then performed opera in the radio, which led him to become popular.
Later in 1937, he debuted on screen in a short film by Warner Bros, called Cuban Nights. He was such a prolific actor that he recorded more than 38 movies in his lifetime. His exceptional talent helped him to embody every character possible—from a womanizing millionaire to a heroic, heart-melting macho.
Not only was he one of the most famous Mexican singers of all time, but he also taught the world to overcome adversity by being true to oneself and enjoying life. His military bravery and incredible talent helped Mexico find identity symbols and aspire to a better life after the Revolution.
2. Pedro Infante
One of the most famous Mexican singers and actors is Pedro Infante who was born in Mazatlán, Sinaloa in 1927. He became interested in music as a child, which motivated him to form different music groups throughout his life. By performing in shows and radio programs, he eventually opened the doors to the mainstream music industry.
In 1943, he recorded his first album, propelling him to the peak of success. After this year, he enjoyed a fantastic career in which he recorded over 300 rancheras songs. However, he began acting in 1939 and won the hearts and minds of viewers in Mexico.
Due to his modest family and upbringing, Infante always chose to play “humble” roles such as Pepe el Toro in the movie Nosotros los pobres.
Imagine Infante in 1935 when the media wasn’t as fast and immediate as it is now; when World War II was around the corner and news traveled slowly. Despite these obstacles, he managed to become an international success and bring joy to people’s lives with his amazing music and acting.
Pedro Infante’s image and essence lives in the memory of all Mexicans as one of the most charismatic singers and actors of all time. If you say his name in Mexico, people are quick to remember how extraordinary he was.
3. Lola Beltrán
Lola—a great singer, actress, and TV presenter—was born in Rosario, México in 1932. She had an artistic career of more than 40 years, recording 78 albums and starring in more than 60 films. She also sang in front of notable political figures such as French President Charles de Gaulle, Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia, and Soviet Minister Andrei Gromiko.
She’s the first woman to sing ranchera music at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, a venue previously used only for classical music. She performed there more than a dozen times, opening the doors of this cultural scene to the famous Mexican singers who came after her.
Surprisingly, she’s been the only Mexican singer who has sung at the Olympia theater in Paris. In addition, she performed with great success in the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, and in the October 12 Hall in Leningrad, former Soviet Union.
Also, she had amazing performances in the Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, and the Metropolitan in New York. She was a powerful woman who managed to break barriers in a world where no one believed in the talent of women.
She’s not only a famous Mexican singer, but someone who fought for women’s rights, resulting in her becoming a powerful icon!
4. José José
The great José José was born in Azcapotzalco, México in 1948. Music coursed through his veins as the son of an opera singer (his father) and a pianist (his mother). When he was a kid, he participated in the school choir and started taking private singing lessons, forming a duet with his cousin at age 15.
Then, in 1967, a rep of a record label heard him sing and loved it so much that he offered to help him release his first album. From this moment, he became one of the most famous Mexican singers whose popular songs defined a generation. As his popularity continued to soar, he sold over 120 million records and was inducted into the hall of fame.
He managed to be nominated to a Grammy Award, Billboard Award, and some other international ones. He won three awards in total. He was also one of the Mexican singers who performed in famous places, such as Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, Las Dunas, among others.
In fact, his songs, in some occasions, surpassed the success of Jorge Negrete and even Pedro Infante. This was probably because he sang mostly about love, but his voice was something people couldn’t compare to anything else. He became an icon of Mexican musical history and emboldened his country’s name.
This powerful woman was born in Veracruz, Mexico in 1964. She was not only one of the most famous Mexican singers, but also a famous actress and TV presenter. Her first contact with the creative arts occurred when she was little and began studying the art of dance.
Soon after, at the age of 11, she got a scholarship to study in the ballet Bolshoi in Russia—but her parents didn’t let her go because they were afraid she’d end up staying.
Instead, her mother decided to become her manager and help Yuri create a singing group. She began to perform in different festivals and events, and at some point she was able to share the stage with the amazing Celia Cruz, a Cuban singer who reigned for decades as the queen of salsa music (from 1948 to 2003).
Later in 1980 she recorded a highly popular and lucrative album, which eventually fueled her career in acting for television. In 1982 she got a Disco de oro award in America and later in Spain. From this moment forward, Yuri’s career took off exponentially, resulting in her becoming the most followed, listened to, and famous Mexican singers in the world.
The most notable and impressive aspect about her career is how her talent overcame the obstacles of male chauvinism, driving her iconic popularity within Mexico and the world.
Enjoy These Famous Mexican Singers!
These were only five of the best and most famous Mexican singers of all time, but there are also so many others that I left out! Who are your favorite Mexican singers? Have you heard the music made by any of the artists who made our list today? Let me know in the comments!
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