A street near the Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights will be renamed in honor of the late Mexican singer, Vicente Fernández.
The name change of Bailey Street to Vicente Fernandez Street was proposed by Los Angeles City Councilman Kevin de Leon and was approved by the council on Tuesday.
“As we know, Vicente Fernández was a cultural icon among Latinos worldwide,” de Leon said before the council voted Tuesday. “His music impacted generations of Latinos, including so many here in Los Angeles. His music was music that transcended generations. This is what united all Latinos and Latino immigrants. This is meant as a tribute to a singer, an entertainer who contributed so much to our culture and to our heritage.”
Fernández died on December 12 at the age of 81, five months after being hospitalized for a fall he suffered in his Guadalajara home.
Local mariachi musicians attended the Tuesday council meeting, speaking in support of the street’s name change, saying it would provide tourism and uplift the mariachi community that is still recovering from lack of work during the pandemic.
“This is going to bring tourists and work to mariachi bands,” Alejandro Cisneros, a representative for Mariachis Independientes De California, said during public comment in Tuesday’s city council meeting.
The name change was strongly opposed by the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council, citing a controversial 2019 statement made by Fernández, where he refused a liver transplant in fear of it possibly coming from a “homosexual or drug addict.”
Similar resistance came from groups in Pico Rivera last week, when a street near the Pico Rivera Sports Arena was renamed the Avenida Vicente Fernandez.
“It’s important for us to recognize our cultural music, but also to recognize things that weren’t so great in our culture and to help correct that,” Pico Rivera Mayor Dr. Monica Sánchez said during the street sign unveiling.
On Wednesday, Netflix released an official trailer for a biopic on Fernández called “El Rey.”
The three-time Grammy award winner was a cultural icon, singing ballads that became staples of Mexican music through the years of his career that spanned nearly five decades.
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.