About Los Tigres del Norte
Hernán Hernández 1968–present
Eduardo Hernández 1988–present
Luis Hernández 1996–present
Los Tigres del Norte are a norteño band from San Jose, California. Originally founded in the small town Rosa Morada in the municipality of Mocorito,Sinaloa, Mexico, with sales of 60 million albums, the band is one of the most recognized groups in the genre, due to its long history and its successes within the Mexican community in the diaspora. The band is famous for its political corridos, some of which have been censored, even in its own country. The band is the only Mexican group to win 7 Grammy awards and 12 Latin Grammys. In addition, the band has made 40 films alongside the Almada brothers among other well-known Mexican actors.
The band's style is based on regional music of Mexico, using mainly instruments such as the electric bass , accordion, bass, drums, and sometimes other percussion instruments. The lyrics in their songs fluctuate between the romantic and the corrido. In recent years the band has begun to make music in a new genre called narcocorrido, in which they narrate the experience of members of drug gangs operating in Mexico. The narcocorrido song "Death Announced", for example, stands out, as it is dedicated to the legendary Colombian drug trafficker Pablo Escobar, "El Jefe de Jefes." In that song, the band tells the story of the power and influence of the now imprisoned Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo. Another of their famous narcocorridos, "The Queen of the South", is based on a literary novel by Arturo Pérez-Reverte from which a television series was made based on the Spanish writer's work. They have become famous in Mexico and the United States, especially in California and Texas, mainly due to the large number of Mexicans living there. They also have found considerable fame in Colombia.
The band won a Grammy Award in 1988 for their album Gracias, América sin Fronteras, and twelve years later their album Herencia de Familia won the award for Best Norteño Album at the first ever Latin Grammys. A year later, in the second edition of the awards, they were nominated again for Best Norteño Album, this time for De Paisano a Paisano, and Best Regional Mexican Song for the song of the same title from that album.
The band was started by Rosamorada, Mocorito, Sinaloa, Mexico natives Jorge Hernández, his brothers, and their cousins. They began recording after moving to San Jose, California in the late 1960s, when all the members were still in their teens. They were sponsored by a local record company, Discos Fama, owned by an Englishman named Art Walker, who took them under his wing and helped them find jobs and material, as well as recording all of their early albums.
The Tigres were at first only locally popular, but took off after Jorge and Art Walker heard a Los Angeles mariachi singer perform a song in early 1971 about a couple of drug runners, Emilio Varela and Camelia la Texana. There had been occasional ballads about the cross-border drug trade ever since Prohibition in the 1920s, but never a song as cinematic as this, featuring a woman smuggler who shoots the man and takes off with the money. After getting permission to record this song, Los Tigres del Norte released "Contrabando y traición" in 1974. The song quickly hit on both sides of the border, inspired a series of movies, and kicked off one of the most remarkable careers in Spanish-language music.
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