Mexican ranchera music icon Vicente Fernandez is no fan of Donald Trump. During his farewell concert last April he told the audience that he would spit in the Republican candidate’s face if he ever met him. But it turned out that final curtain call wasn't so final after all.
Now the outspoken ranchero singer is putting his sombrero back on and coming out of retirement to endorse Hillary Clinton with a new ballad.
“Dear brothers, your voice is your vote,” Fernandez says in his new Hillary-themed music video, before breaking into song: “I am Latino to the bone, and very proud of it… And I remind you, brother, that we have to go hand in hand until Hillary Clinton has victory assured.”
This is the first time the iconic mustachioed macho man known for his cantina-style songs about evil women, love and betrayal has directly backed a U.S. presidential candidate with a custom corrido. It’s also a potentially important endorsement from a man who is beloved among the older generations of Latinos who grew up with his music.
Back in 2000, Fernandez was invited by the George W. Bush campaign to sing Mexico’s “Cielito Lindo” at the Republican National Convention. Fernandez appeared on stage in a full mariachi outfit and had the audience signing along in Spanish— a bizarre scene considering how far from grace the Republicans have since fallen with Latino voters.
In backing Clinton in this year's election, Fernandez joins a long list of high-profile Latino stars such as Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony and Eva Longoria who are using their star power to make a statement about the U.S. elections.
But it's not the first campaign corrido. In March, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders also got his own “El Quemazón” (The Burn) ballad courtesy of California-based norteño band Grupo Meta.
Trump had a chance to tone down his inflammatory remarks during a recent Mexico City trip on invitation by President Enrique Peña Nieto, but instead doubled down on his anti-immigration message.
Now Fernandez seems to be rallying Latinos behind Hillary to counter the Trump menace.