1937 - 2006
Born Baldemar Huerta on June 4, 1937, in the south Texas town of San Benito and grew up hearing traditional ranchera music, which is heavily influenced by polka.
His career began in the late 1950s when he returned from service in the Marines, and recorded Spanish versions of hits by Elvis Presley and Harry Belafonte.
He signed with Imperial Records in 1959, naming himself Fender after the electric guitar to appeal to a wider audience
In 1999, Fender received his own Hollywood Walk of Fame star after being personally recommended for the honor by then-Texas governor George W Bush, and in 2002 he won his last Grammy, a best Latin pop award for his album "La Música de Baldemar Huerta."
“Freddy was an icon for country music
and the American dream. ... He was a champion and a warrior and now he has
become my hero. Thank you my friend….save a spot in heaven for me in your
"Freddy is one of the few artists
who made an impact to different genres. He is one of the first Latinos to cross
over into the English market," "He's one of a kind."
Javier "JV" Villanueva, chief executive officer of Tejano ROOTS Hall of Fame.
"I feel very comfortable
in my life. I'm one year away from 70 and I've had a good run,"
Freddy Fender, when he spoke of his cancer.
Freddy passed away in his long time home in Corpus Christi Texas. He was 69