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Valentin Elizalde

Biography

Banda heartthrob Valentin Elizalde got his start in music thanks to his father Lalo, who was widely considered one of banda's greatest living artists until his death in 2004. Valentin was born in Etchoja Jinonhuera, Sonora in Mexico and raised in Guadalajara, Jalisco and Sinaloa, and it didn't take him long to take up his father's profession. He was playing at the festival of San Juan in Bancame Nuevo, Mexico when he was paid for his performance for the first time. Inspired by his newfound success, he recorded Mas Alla Del Mar and saw two hits quickly take off: "La Margarita" and "Amore Que Muere." Elizalde went on to become a leading banda star, earning the nickname "El Gallo Del Oro" for his golden voice, though it was also a play on his father's nickname, "El Gallo." He quickly entered the netherworld of narcocorridos, singing songs that skirt the boundary between storytelling and glorification of Mexican drug traffickers. In 2006, after the release of Vencedor, a video emerged on Youtube which depicted real-life violence, seemingly perpetrated by drug cartel thugs working for the Cartel del Sinaloa and set to Elizalde's "A Mis Enemigos." Though no relationship between Elizalde and the cartel could be proven, on November 25, 2006, just minutes after performing the song at a local fair in Reynosa, Mexico, Elizalde, his manager and his driver were gunned down in a brutal barrage of bullets. Though no one has been charged, some suspect thugs from the rival Cartel del Golfo of participating in the assassination. Elizalde was just 27 years old.
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