Ritchie Valens  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Ritchie Valens (born Ricardo Esteban Valenzuela Reyes; May 13, 1941 – February 3, 1959) was a Mexican-American singer, songwriter and guitarist.

A rock and roll pioneer and a forefather of the Chicano rock movement, Valens' recording career lasted only eight months. During this time, however, he scored several hits, most notably "La Bamba", which was originally a Mexican folk song that Valens transformed with a rock rhythm and beat that became a hit in 1958, making Valens a pioneer of the Spanish-speaking rock and roll movement.

On February 3, 1959, on what has become known as The Day the Music Died, Valens was killed in a small-plane crash in Iowa, a tragedy that also claimed the lives of fellow musicians Buddy Holly and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson. Valens was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Ritchie Valens" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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