Chalino Sanchez

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Biography

Rosalino "Chalino" Sánchez (August 30, 1960 – May 16, 1992) was a Mexican singer and songwriter perhaps best known for his narcocorrido recordings. On May 16, 1992, he was murdered in Culiacán, the capital city of the Pacific coastal state of Sinaloa, Mexico. Since his death, his fame and recordings have grown in popularity.

Sánchez was born and raised in La Chilla, a very small community known as a "rancho" located in the municipality of Culiacán in Sinaloa, Mexico. His father, Santos Sánchez, and mother, Sannorina Felix, had eight children: Armando, Chalino, Espiridión, Francisco, Juana, Lázaro, Lucas, and Régulo. From an early age, Sánchez experienced poverty and tragedy. At the age of 6, his father died, and his sister, Juana, was raped by a local "mafioso" prompting Sánchez to kill the man out of revenge. He would later emigrate to US state of California to escape Mexican authorities.

In 1977, Sánchez and a close friend immigrated to the American state of California with the aid of a human trafficker known as a coyote. Upon his arrival, he began working in the fields of Coachella Valley as well as performing odd jobs. While concentrating on his regular business, Sánchez's sister, Juana Sánchez, introduced him to Marisela Vallejos Felix who would later give birth to two of his children, Adán Sánchez Vallejos and Cynthia Sánchez Vallejos. Marisela is from the Mexican border town of Mexicali, Baja California.

One day while at work, Sánchez was introduced to a man by the name of Ángel Parra, who became interested in his musical talents after hearing a small performance. Ángel Parra arranged for Sánchez to have a meeting at his studio, Angel Studios, and began recording his first demo cassette with a norteño group named Los Cuatro de la Frontera. Various corridos recorded were "Armando Sánchez" ‒ a tribute to his murdered brother, "El Sapo", "Beto López", and "Los Sinaloenses." Ironically, Parra first thought Sánchez's voice was unsuitable for basic norteño music, but after Sánchez released his first demo, his popularity began to grow in the Latino community.

By 1989, Sánchez was recognized throughout California and requests were flowing in for him to sing in various venues being paid in a variety of ways including cash, clothing, vehicles, and guns.

In the early 1990s, Sánchez began performing in various California nightclubs including El Farallón in Lynwood, California; and El Parral Nightclub, a particularly notorious club located in South Gate, California, which was managed by the South Los Angeles street gang, Florencia 13. He also performed at the Keystone Ford Show and Noches de Taconazo.

At about this time, he switched bands and formed Los Amables del Norte, producing some of his best songs while associated with them. He signed with various record labels including Discos Linda, Cintas Acuario, RR, Balboa/Edimusa, and Musart.

He made his breakthrough in terms of publicity on January 20, 1992. That evening, he was performing at a club in Coachella, California, when a patron came up to the stage, pulled a gun, and shot Sánchez in the side. Sánchez immediately pulled a gun of his own and returned fire. By the end of the evening, the would-be killer was shot to death with his own gun, one other person died on the way to a hospital, and at least five others were wounded. (It was generally believed in Sinaloa that the death toll was higher.)

The shooting made headlines in regional English-language newspapers, not just Spanish-language ones, and even made ABC's World News Tonight. At his next Los Angeles-area appearance, the turnout was so large that the venue, El Parral, had to close its doors at 6 pm, at least five hours before he was scheduled to take the stage.

On May 16, 1992, Sánchez was being transported in the early morning hours through the streets of the Sinaloa, Mexico capital city of Culiacán when a supposed unmarked federal police vehicle forced their Chevy Suburban to stop in a secluded area. Sánchez's lifeless body was discovered later that morning with two execution-style gunshot wounds to the back of the head. Chalino Sánchez is buried at El Rancho Los Vacitos in the small town of Las Tapias, Sinaloa, Mexico.

Adán Sánchez (born April 14, 1984) was the son of Chalino Sánchez and a popular Mexican-American singer in his own right. He died in automobile accident on March 27, 2004.

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