Javier Solis, nee Gabriel Siria Levario, had a typical hard-scrabble story. Born into a poor family in Mexico City in 1931, he dropped out of school at the age of ten and took odd jobs to help his family get by. Boxing and singing were his twin passions, and when he won a local singing contest (the prize was reportedly a pair of shoes), he left boxing by the wayside. At age sixteen he sang with the Mariachi Mepetec, and just a few years later he was discovered singing in a nightclub by Julito Rodriguez and Alfredo Gil of the Trio Los Panchos. A record deal followed, and his star rose quickly. He starred in a number of films with stars including Lola Beltran. After Pedro Infante's death in 1957, Solis took over as the reigning king of ranchera until his untimely demise nine years later.