Antonio Aguilar, the Mexican ranchera music star and cinema idol who had a huge fan base among Southern California Mexican Americans, will be honored on Mexican Independence Day (Sept. 16) when a statue of him is unveiled in downtown L.A., reports our Spanish-language sibling publication Hoy.
Aguilar, known as "El Charro de México," who died in 2007, recorded more than 150 albums which sold more than 25 million copies, earning him a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He regularly packed L.A.-area venues when he'd perform, sometimes accompanied by his wife, singer-actress Flor Silvestre. One of his children is another Mexican singing star, José "Pepe" Aguilar.
According to Hoy, the new statue, made by sculptor Dan Medina, will be placed in the Plaza Olvera, in a section called Dolores Park.
Councilman José Huízar, who backed the project, told Hoy that by honoring Aguilar the monument also would be honoring charro culture and ranchera music, which belong to the cultural heritage of many L.A. Latino immigrants from northern Mexican states. According to an anecdote, when Aguilar first came to Hollywood looking for work, he spent three nights sleeping in the Plaza Olvera, a traditional first stop for many Mexican immigrants at that time.