Singer Alejandro "El Potrillo" Fernández is one of Mexico's biggest international music stars. The son of icon Vincente Fernández, he established himself as a ranchero singer during the 1990s.
His self-titled debut album was nominated for Regional Mexican Album of the Year at the Lo Nuestro Awards in 1993. Four years and four albums later, he debuted his first foray into Latin pop with the chart-topping Me Estoy Enamorando. He hasn't been a stranger to the charts since. Nine of his albums have ascended to the top spot on Latin Pop charts, while 11 more have entered the U.S. Top 200. 2000's Entre Tus Brazos was nominated for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance at the inaugural Latin Grammy Awards. 2004's chart-topping A Corazón Abierto wed classic Mexican romantic balladry to Latin pop production. 2009's Dos Mundos: Evolución was released with Dos Mundos: Tradición on the same day. The former featured Latin pop songs and topped the charts, while the latter offered traditional rancheras and hit number three. Both were certified multi-platinum. In 2017, Rompiendo Fronteras combined the ranchera sound with Latin pop and reggaeton productions and was certified multi-platinum.
Born on April 24, 1971, in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, Fernández is the son of ranchera icon Vicente Fernández, which inspired the media to nickname him "El Potrillo" (the Little Colt). Beginning with his self-titled debut album in 1992, Fernández followed in the footsteps of his father, performing traditional Mexican music of the Jalisco region such as mariachi.
While this phase of Fernández's career -- which included the albums Alejandro Fernandez (1992), Piel de Niña (1993), Grandes Exitos a la Manera de Alejandro Fernandez (1994), Que Seas Muy Feliz (1995), and Muy Dentro de Mi Corazón (1996), all of which were produced by Pedro Ramírez -- spawned a steady series of hit singles, his career skyrocketed to new heights of success with the 1997 release of Me Estoy Enamorando. Produced by Emilio Estefan, Jr. and Kike Santander -- far and away the preeminent Latin pop production team of the era -- the album marked Fernández's crossover into the realm of mainstream pop. Not only did Me Estoy Enamorando itself top Billboard's Top Latin Albums chart; it also spawned four Hot Latin Tracks chart-toppers with "Si Tú Supieras," "En el Jardín" (a duet with Gloria Estefan), "No Sé Olvidar," and "Yo Nací Para Amarte." As if to reassure his fan base that he hadn't abandoned his roots, Fernández reunited with longtime producer Pedro Ramírez in 1999 and returned to ranchera music on Mi Verdad before collaborating once again with Estefan and Santander on another pop-oriented chart-topper, Entre Tus Brazos, in 2000. In subsequent years, Fernández continued to alternate between traditional albums of ranchera music (Orígenes, 2001; Niña, Amada Mía, 2003) and those oriented toward contemporary Latin pop (A Corazón Abierto, 2004; Viento a Favor (2007). In addition, he began regularly releasing live in-concert albums (Un Canto de México, 2002; En Vivo: Juntos por Ultima Vez, 2003; México-Madrid: En Directo y Sin Escalas, 2005) and also released his first greatest-hits collection, 15 Años de Éxitos (2008).
Following the end of his seven-album contract with Sony, Fernández left the label and signed to Fonovisa. Sony then tried to release an album of his previously unreleased tracks. Fernández sued, and 6,000 copies of the album were seized by police. In 2009, under his new label, he launched an ambitious project called Dos Mundos, which consisted of two separate albums, Evolución and Tradición, released on the same day; the former was more Latin pop, the latter traditional ranchera and mariachi music. (Predictably, Evolución fared slightly better on the pop charts, although both albums were hits.) He then took the new music on tour, resulting in the live album Dos Mundos: Revolución (2010).
Fernández began recording again in 2012, working in Los Angeles with producer Phil Ramone. The resulting album, Confidencias, included duets with Christina Aguilera on "Hoy Tengo Ganas de Ti," Rod Stewart on "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out," and most poetically, his father Vicente on "Me Olvidé de Vivir." Released in July 2013, the album hit the top of the charts in Mexico and Spain and continued to chart for over a year. Still in the collaborative spirit, Fernández worked with a variety of different artists on his next album, from Colombian band Morat to Peruvian singer/songwriter Gianmarco. It contained four songs by the venerable Joss Favela, as well as a pair by Mario Dom. Released in 2017, Rompiendo Fronteras (Breaking Barriers) took a multi-cultural stance amid the political climate of the day and offered rancheras and ballads with modern pop production and rhythms. It made the Top 200 and charted at number one at Latin Pop and Top Latin Albums. In 2020 Fernández issued Hecho en Mexico (Made in Mexico) his first outing to be exclusively comprised of mariachi songs. Its first single "Caballero," scored Fernández his first number one on the Regional Mexican Airplay chart. The song "Menti" was a duet between the singer and his father, while another, "Mas No Puedo," featured Christian Nodal. The album entered the chart at number one -- his seventh to do so -- and made Fernández the first artist to achieve number ones at Top Latin Albums in four consecutive decades: 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, and 2020s. ~ Jason Birchmeier, Rovi