Born in Torrance, California on April 14, 1984, Mexican-American singer Adán Chalino Sánchez began to develop his music career at 11 years old. With a total release of more than 15 albums, Sánchez stole the hearts of thousands of fans with his compelling love ballads.
However, just when his career was taking off, the Los Angeles native died in a fatal car crash in the Mexican state of Sinaloa, which continues to have a deep emotional impact on his fans.
At eight years old Sánchez lost his father Chalino Sánchez, who was kidnapped and murdered after one of his concerts in Sinaloa, Mexico.
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Chalino Sánchez grew to be one of the most famous corrodistas in the 1980’s and early 1990s, becoming a huge music influence throughout both Mexico and the United States. However, it was the content of his narcocorridos that led to the fatal shooting after his concert in 1992.
In an interview with Los Angeles En Vivo, Sánchez described the loss of his father as “la etapa mas oscura de mi vida.” Despite how difficult it was to lose his dad at such a young age, Sánchez emphasized, “Siempre tiene que salir el sol. Aunque sea la tormenta mas grande del mundo, va salir el sol.” (The sun always has to come out. Even if it’s the worlds biggest storm, the sun will come out.)
His father’s death deeply impacted him, but he used it as motivation and poured his pain into his music at the age of nine.
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With the nickname of “El Compita,” Sánchez began to roll out his first albums as a kid, including “Adios Amigo Del Alma,” “Dios Me Nego” and “Claveles De Enero.” A lot of his music was heavily influenced by his dad. “Mi padre es el idolo numero uno para mi,” he once said in an interview with Five Corners.
As someone who has never liked to leave things unfinished, Sánchez felt that he had to continue on the path of his father’s musical career because his dad wasn’t able to finish the career himself. Songs like “Corona de mi Padre,” “Te Vengo a Ver,” and “Homanaje de mi Padre” were directly influenced by Sánchez’s dad and were Sanchez’s way of mourning his father’s death.
Because of his young age, Sanchez’s music wasn’t taken seriously and none of his songs would get played on the radio.
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He was a 9-year-old kid singing about love and singing corrdios, which radio stations didn’t take seriously. At 13 years old, producing music became even more difficult for Sánchez because he was going through puberty and his voice was changing. Because of this he took a break and returned to the music scene at 15 years old, with his album “La Corona de mi Padre,” which blew people away.
But by the age of eighteen, Sánchez’s fan base had grown dramatically across the U.S. and Mexico.
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Sánchez never experienced a normal childhood because of how early on he had began to work on his music, but it was something he never regretted. With the release of his album “Siempre y Para Siempre,” Sánchez won several awards, but the best award he’s earned was his fans. “Eso no me lo quitan nadien. Nadie me lo quita. Los premios me los pueden robar. Pero los aplausos y el cariño nadie me lo quita,” Sánchez said in an interview with Los Angeles En Vivo.
On his way to perform at a concert in Mexico, Sánchez died in a car accident while driving through the same state where his father was kidnapped and murdered. He was only 19 years old.
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As reported in the Los Angeles Times, “The coincidence of [Chalino Sanchez’s] son dying in an area known for its drug cartels and violence fueled speculation that the car crash had not been an accident. But police said there was no indication of foul play.” Three other people who were in the same car with Sánchez were injured, but survived the car crash.
After the news of his death, there were several public vigils held throughout Mexico and the U.S.
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Just when El Compita was starting to blow up, he died and his fans were not ready for that at all.
Till this day, many of Sánchez’s fans still remember the news of his death and continue to connect to his music on so many levels.
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After the news of Sanchez’s death, programmer and director of radio station “La Que Buena,” commented, “His fans were mostly teenagers, kids with a lot of dreams, and this has just left them heartbroken.” His songs about love were the songs teenagers would dedicate to their boyfriends and girlfriends, and his songs about his father were the songs that helped people cope with the loss of their loved ones. The emotion Sánchez carried in his music was one of a kind and something his fans will never forget.
In memory of this legendary romantic, there stands a statue of Adán Chalino Sánchez in front of “La Que Buena” radio station building in Burbank, CA.
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R.I.P. to El Compita. 💙