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Chalino Sanchez Biography

Home > Music > S > Sanchez, Chalino > Biography

Birth Name: Rosalino Sanchez Felix
Birth Place: Las Flechas Badiraguato, Sinaloa, Mexico
Years Active: 1989 - 1992
Genres: Norteñas

Rosalino "Chalino" Sánchez (August 30, 1960 – May 16, 1992) was a Mexican singer and songwriter. Born and raised in a poor family on a ranch called "Las Flechas", Badiraguato, Sinaloa, Mexico. His father was Santos Sánchez and his mother Sannorina Felix. He had seven siblings: Armando, Lázaro, Régulo, Lucas, Espiridión (El Indio), Francisco, and Juana. From an early age Chalino experienced tragedies and poverty.

When he was six years old his father died, throwing his family into turmoil. His sister Juana was raped by a local "mafioso" who lived nearby, prompting Chalino to react by killing the man. He later emigrated to California to escape Mexican authorities.

In 1977, Chalino illegally immigrated to the United States with one of his close friends; with the help of a local coyote or pollero (people smuggler) he crossed the border of Baja California. Upon his arrival, he began working in the fields of California's Coachella Valley and profiting from odd jobs given to him. While concentrating on his regular business, Chalino's sister, Juana Sánchez, introduced him to Marisela Vallejos Felix, who would later gave birth to two of his children, Adán Chalino Sánchez Vallejos and Cynthia Sánchez Vallejos. Marisela is from the border town of Mexicali, Baja California.

One day while at work, Chalino was introduced to a man by the name of Ángel Parra, who became interested in his musical talents after hearing a small performance. Ángel Parra arranged for Chalino to have a meeting at his studio, named "Angel Studios," and began recording his first demo cassette with a norteño group named Los Cuatro de la Frontera. While Chalino was in the studio, he recorded various corrido tunes, such as "Armando Sánchez" (a tribute song to his murdered brother), "El Sapo," "Beto López," and "Los Sinaloenses." Ironically, Ángel Parra at first thought Chalino's voice was "unsuitable" for basic norteño music, but after Chalino released his first demo, his popularity began to grow in the Mexican American community.

By 1989, Chalino was recognized throughout California and requests were flowing in for him to sing in various venues. He was paid in a variety of ways, including cash, clothing, vehicles, and weapons. Chalino performed in various California locations and venues, such as the notorious club El Parral Nightclub located in South Gate, California. He also performed at the Keystone Ford Show and Noches de Taconazo. At about this time, he switched bands and formed Los Amables del Norte, producing some of his best songs while associated with them. He signed with numerous record labels, such as Discos Linda, Cintas Acuario, RR, Balboa Records Edimusa, and Musart.

He made his breakthrough, in terms of publicity, on January 20, 1992. That evening, he was performing at a club in Coachella, California when a patron came up to the stage, pulled a gun, and shot Chalino in the side. Chalino immediately pulled a gun of his own and returned fire. By the end of the evening, the would-be killer was shot to death with his own gun, one other person died on the way to a hospital, and at least five others were wounded. The shooting made headlines in regional English-language newspapers, not just Spanish-language ones, and even made ABC's World News Tonight.

At his next Los Angeles-area appearance, the turnout was so large that the venue, El Parral, had to close its doors at 6 pm, at least five hours before he was scheduled to take the stage. At a concert in Mexico, Chalino Sanchez received a letter containing a death threat and walked off stage immediately. On May 16, 1992, Chalino was being transported in a Chevy Suburban through the streets of Culiacán, Mexico. After about 20 minutes, the Suburban was driving near a secluded location when an unmarked Federal Police Vehicle intercepted them and forced them to the side of the road. At approximately 6am, Chalino's lifeless body was discovered on the side of a road with two gunshot wounds to the back of the head.

The next day, newspapers in Sinaloa read, "Chalino Sánchez, Secuestrado, y Ejecutado" (Chalino Sánchez, Kidnapped and Executed). Chalino Sánchez is buried at "El Rancho Los Vaquitos", in the small town of Las Tapias, Sinaloa, Mexico.