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Ritchie Valens

Ritchie Valens Fast Facts
Birthday ***, 1941
Place of Birth Pacolma, California
Death day February 3, 1959 (17 years old)
Zodiac Sign Taurus
 Astrology Birth Chart of Ritchie Valens
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Ritchie Valens

Richard Steven Valenzuela, known professionally as Ritchie Valens, was an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist. A rock and roll pioneer and a forefather of the Chicano rock movement, Valens was killed in a plane crash eight months into his recording career. Valens had several hits, most notably "La Bamba", which he had adapted from a Mexican folk song. Valens transformed the song into one with a rock rhythm and beat, and it became a hit in 1958, making Valens a pioneer of the Spanish-speaking rock and roll movement. He also had an American number-two hit with "Donna". On February 3, 1959, on what has become known as "The Day the Music Died", Valens died in a plane crash in Iowa, an accident that also claimed the lives of fellow musicians Buddy Holly and J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, as well as pilot Roger Peterson. In 2001, Valens was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Birth name Richard Steven Valenzuela
Also known as Ritchie Valens
Born May 13, 1941, Pacoima, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Died February 3, 1959, Clear Lake, Iowa, U.S.
Genres Rock and roll, Chicano rock
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, guitarist
Instruments Guitar, vocals, drums, trumpet
Years active 1957–1959
Associated acts Waylon Jennings Buddy Holly
Website Ritchie Valens's Official site
IMDb Ritchie Valens's IMDb

About Ritchie Valens

Pioneer in the Chicano rock movement who released the single "La Bamba." He tragically died in a historic plane crash, an event that was nicknamed The Day the Music Died.

Ritchie Valens before fame

He learned to play the guitar right-handed even though he was naturally left-handed.

Achievement of Ritchie Valens

He died in the plane crash that also killed The Big Bopper and Buddy Holly.

Ritchie Valens family life

His mother was actress Connie Valenzuela.

Associations of Ritchie Valens

He influenced artists like Carlos Santana.

Top Facts You Did Not Know About Ritchie Valens

  • Ritchie Valens Category
  • La Bamba (film) - La Bamba is a 1987 American biographical film written and directed by Luis Valdez that follows the life and career of Chicano rock 'n' roll star Ritchie Valens. The film stars Lou Diamond Phillips as Valens, Esai Morales, Rosanna DeSoto, Elizabeth Peña, Danielle von Zerneck, and Joe Pantoliano.
  • San Fernando High School alumni
  • Rock and roll musicians
  • Chicano rock musicians
  • Burials at San Fernando Mission Cemetery
  • Rock en Español musicians
  • Hispanic and Latino American musicians
  • Victims of aviation accidents or incidents in the United States
  • American child singers
  • American rock musicians

Latest information about Ritchie Valens updated on June 23 2021.

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