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Emilio dies at 53

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 – Tejano star Emilio Navaira, who had two country albums during his career, died on Monday at 53 of a heart attack.

Navaira released two English-language country albums, "Life is Good" and "It's on the House," using only his first name. His most successful crossover hit was 1995's "It's Not the End of the World," which hit 27 on the Billboard charts. The song was one of six singles to make the country charts, but the only one that even made the top 40. As his country career faded, Emilio returned to Tejano music.

That was where was star appeal was, and he was labeled the "Garth Brooks of Tejano." He recorded more than 15 albums.

Navaira was born in San Antonio in 1962. He was influenced by both Tejano and country music. He started singing lead vocals for David Lee Garza y Los Musicales at the age of 21.

CD reviews for Emilio

It's On the House
Historically, Hispanic C & W singers have not had much staying power north of the border - just ask Johnny Rodriguez or Freddy Fender, if you can find them. Don't look for Senor Emilio to change that tradition on his second album, as there's not much here that different from your average hot new gringo. There's a depressing sameness here, partly due to Emilio's limited vocal range and partly due to choice of material - eight out of ten tunes are mid-tempo rockers. Give him credit for one thing »»»
Life Is Good
Tejano Emilio's first country album appears to take a page from the late Selena's playbook: introduce yourself to English-speaking fans and still keep your long-time followers happy. The San Antonio native comes to the table with the gift of a voice distinctive enough to have gotten him a music scholarship. The voice is a definite cut above of other cookie cutter cowboys. Unfortunately, he has to work with arrangements so bland and uninspired, the performances must have been phoned in. »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Kristofferson gives insight, but no easy answers – When they say music gets better with age, they're not always just talking about songs alone; sometimes they're also referring to the listener. When Kris Kristofferson sings, "Well, I woke up Sunday morning/With no way to hold my head that didn't hurt," to smartly open "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down," he... »»»
Concert Review: No sugarcoating, Welch dishes out an experience – Gillian Welch (accompanied, as always, by master guitarist David Rawlings), celebrated her "The Harrow & The Harvest" album with a powerful night of music. She apologized many times for the utter unhappiness expressed through this album's songs, admitting it's "not the most chipper album" at one point.... »»»
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