Hernan “El Valentino” Chavez Jr. (September 27th, 1984 – May 5th, 2014) was a popular American/Mexican singer, known for his narco-corrido (drug ballad) recordings. On May 5th, 2014 he was murdered in San Jose, California. Ever since his death, his recordings have grown in popularity. Early life
Chavez Jr. was born in Gilroy, California, a small city in the Santa Clara County known as the “Garlic Capital of the World”. He was eleven, when his father, Hernan Chavez Sr., was murdered in a drug trafficking shooting in Tijuana, Baja California. Before Chavez Sr. died, he gave him a guitar for his eleventh birthday. Raised by his mother, Maria De Luna, in Los Angeles, California, at the age of thirteen he took guitar lessons. He began taking his journey as a songwriter and singer as he grew into his teens and popularity grew with the teenage girls, with his charisma and contemporary romantic ballads.
Mid 2000s: Beginning of a new career & rising to fame
In 2003, Chavez Jr. decided to drop out of Glendale Community College and decided to follow his dream as a singer and formed a group by name of “Los Chingones” (The Real Bad-Asses) and changed his music genre to narco-carridos (drug ballads) recordings and got his nickname “El Valentino”, which mean the brave. He began writing songs about drug trafficking in memory of his father, songs such as “Por Unos Cobardes” (By Some Cowards), and “La Druga y El Dinero” (Drugs and Money). After Chavez Jr. released his first demo “Soy El Valentino” (The Brave) in 2007 his popularity began to grow in the Latin community across California with his narco-corridos. He was well recognized throughout California and requests were flowing in for him to sing at various venues and began getting paid in different ways that included: cash, guns, cars and drugs.
On May 5th, 2014, Chavez Jr. returned to his roots and decided to perform at a concert at the San Jose Convention Center, a popular venue for performances by various Regional-Mexican recording artists. There at the concert, he received a letter with a death threat. After the concert, while Chavez Jr. was being chauffeured through the streets of downtown San Jose, CA, two vans pulled alongside his limousine and multiple shots were fired, three bullets hit him. He was rushed to the Stanford Health Care where doctors performed an emergency thoracotomy, however, Chavez Jr. did not make it and he was pronounced dead at 2:30 a.m.