Rosalino Sanchez Felix, known professionally as Chalino Sanchez, was a famous Mexican singer and songwriter responsible for helping define the sound of Mexican culture in the late 80s and early 90s.
His music and background resonated with so many disenfranchised Mexican men and women because of the humble beginnings he once came from, which made for great material. That influence has extended way beyond his brief life.
Even several years after his death, he gains new fans by the thousands. He’s lived the lives of thousands of Mexicans who see themselves in his story of struggle, triumph, and tragedy. It explains why he’s considered a native son three decades after he passed away.
Unfortunately, we don’t know much about his seven siblings apart from their names, but we still wanted to take the time to learn about the life and legacy of one of Mexico’s beloved artists while we rank the Sanchez siblings from oldest to youngest.
8. Juana Sanchez
Personal and professional information on Juana Sanchez is unknown, but she is the only sister in the Sanchez family.
She is the daughter of Santos Sanchez and Senorina Felix.
Did You Know?
When Chalino was 15-years-old in 1975, Juana was raped by a man named “Chapo” Perez, who was wealthy and considered dangerous. That didn’t deter Chalino from his pursuit of revenge, however. Two years later, a 17-year-old Chalino had a chance encounter with his sister’s rapist at a party and shot him. Perez was killed in the exchange.
7. Espiridion Sanchez
Personal and professional information on Espiridion Sanchez is unknown.
6. Lucas Sanchez
Personal and professional information on Lucas Sanchez is unknown.
5. Francisco Sanchez
Personal and professional information on Francisco Sanchez is unknown.
4. Armando Sanchez
Personal and professional information on Armando Sanchez is unknown.
3. Regulo Sanchez
Personal and professional information on Regulo Sanchez is unknown.
Chalino wrote a song dedicated to his brother, aptly titled Regulo Sanchez.
2. Lazaro Sanchez
Personal and professional information on Lazaro Sanchez is unknown.
1. Chalino Sanchez (August 30, 1960 – May 16, 1992)
Age at Time of Death: 31 years, 8 months, 17 days
Born: Sinaloa, Mexico
Occupation: Singer, Songwriter
Known For: Regional Mexican Music
Chalino Sanchez was the youngest of the Sanchez siblings!
Chalino Sanchez was a Mexican-born artist famous for corridos, which is defined as a form of poetry that makes up a ballad.
What made Chalino unique among a sea of other Mexican artists was his unconventional spin on the typical corridos. Drug smugglers, murderers, and the cartel were the usual subject matter.
He was born on a ranch in Sinaloa, the youngest of his siblings. Like many families in his town, struggle was always around the corner, and financial turmoil was a constant stress for the Sanchez family. That was worsened when his father passed away when he was six, leaving seven kids to a single mother.
In 1977, Chalino immigrated to the United States in search of a better life with the assistance of a human trafficker, which you might hear referred to as coyotes. After arriving in California, he found work in the fields of Coachella Valley, earning money working any job he could get his hands on.
His sister, Juana, who he had a close relationship with, introduced him to Marisela Felix, who would give birth to two of his children.
While working in Coachella Valley, he met a man named Angel Parra, who had a music studio called Angel Studios. He took an interest in him after hearing a few of his performances and decided to record a demo cassette.
According to Angel, his voice didn’t fit the mold for the style that was considered popular, but his talent was undeniable, and his judgment paid dividends. Chalino’s popularity in the Mexican community grew almost instantly.
By 1992, Chalino was a phenomenon. But during the peak of his popularity, while performing at a club in Coachella, California, a man named Eduardo Gallegos came on stage and shot Chalino in the abdomen.
A shootout ensued between him and Chalino, resulting in a bystander’s death. Several others were injured in the 400-person venue, and a separate bystander killed Chalino’s assailant.
Just four months after the incident, he performed at the Salon Bugambilias, Culiacan. Before getting ready to sing his next song, he was handed a note from someone in the crowd, which allegedly contained a death threat. Chalino tossed the note and decided the show must go on.
After the show ended around midnight, Chalino, a few members of his family, and several women left the club with him and were pulled over by men presenting themselves as state police in unmarked police vehicles. He was escorted to their car while his brothers followed behind.
By 6 am that morning, Chalino’s body was found blindfolded and wrists tied in a canal near the highway by Los Laureles. He left behind two children, one of whom, Adan Sanchez, followed in his father’s footsteps and became a singer and composer in Regional Mexican music.
Adan tragically passed away in a car accident at 19-years-old. A stage play titled Always and Forever by Michael Spillers was created to honor his legacy. It illustrated the impact of his death on kids in South Los Angeles while providing commentary on the beauty of Mexican-American culture.
Did You Know?
Chalino’s sister, Juana, described him as a curious and mischievous child since birth who had lofty dreams of becoming an entertainer. Juana spoke about her close relationship with her late brother and his impact on the lives of not just Mexicans but anyone who could relate to a life burdened by poverty and the criminal world in a 2004 documentary called Chalino Sanchez: Una Vida de Peligros.
His recordings have continued to grow in popularity. Even after he died in 1992, he recorded enough music to be released almost yearly until 2007. They include but aren’t limited to El Crimean de Culiacan, El Guilo Rivera, Alma Enamorada, and Los Chismes.
To see pictures of Chalino, click here.