Juan Gabriel (born Alberto Aguilera Valadez)
January 7, 1950
Yes. I know I’m a day late in recognizing Juan Gabriel’s 60th birthday.
But it’s been a busy first week back at school, job 1 and job 2 and it’s going to be a busy quarter overall. Enough excuses, back to Juanga.
Wasn’t he born in Mexico? What does he have to do with Chicanos?
Yes, he was born in Paracuaro, Michoacán. And plenty. Five simple reasons:
- Though he was born in Michoacán, we all know he made a name for himself singing in the bars of Ciudad Juárez on the border. In fact, he’s always been somewhat on the border in both the literal and figurative sense. He seamlessly goes from pop to rancheras to disco to ballads. He’s coy about his sexuality, but it’s clear that he presents a different image of the stereotypical Mexican man and entertainer.
- He wrote Amor Eterno, the song we all sing when we lay our loved ones to rest.
- In 1980, he starred in Del Otro Lado del Puente a film about a young immigrant student trying to pay for school by singing.
- He stood up to the man, well BMG, and didn’t record any music from 1986-1994 due to a copyright dispute.
- Do you really need a reason? Juanga is one of those sacred Mexican icons, kind of like Vicente Fernández or la Virgen de Guadalupe.
Name your own reason. Why do you love Juanga? What’s your favorite song(s)? What about interpretation of a song written by Juanga?
I started loving Juanga’s music as a little girl. There’s home video of me dancing and singing along to “El Noa Noa” while on a trip to Kern River. My favorite song is “Hasta Que Te Conocí.”
I love Maldita Vecindad’s version of “Lo Pasado, Pasado” (written for José José).