The “King of Tejano” Emilio Navaira passed away Monday night at the age of 53, reportedly from natural causes. Along with the late, great Selena Quintanilla, Navaira was considered a pioneer in the Tejano genre (traditional Mexican fused with popular and country music), and is credited with making Tejano music mainstream in the ’90s.
Not only did both icons share the stage together at a past Tejano Music Awards ceremony—this according to Billboard, they also recorded a single together called “Te Robaste Mi Corazón.”
Selena’s brother A. B. remembers him: “He was riding that wave of when Tejano was strong, man. Selena was in the forefront and he was right there with her,” he tells NPR‘s Andrew Limbong. “The ladies loved him. You know what I’m saying? And he packed the houses.”
Our condolences go out to the family. May Navaira rest in power.