Gerardo Ortíz

Gerardo Ortíz

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About Gerardo Ortíz

Mexican-American singer/songwriter Gerardo Ortíz has made a career of striking a delicate balance between hard-boiled narratives and ballads. He’s one of the top purveyors of narcocorridos—the story songs that detail (critics would say glorify) Mexico’s drug trade—and also one of Mexico’s greatest balladeers, penning romantic love songs that are just as persuasive and necessary as his corridos. Ortíz came to music early: Born in Pasadena, CA, in 1989, he moved to Mexico at age eight and began making music around the same time. At 13, he moved to Mexico City to audition for Mexico’s first reality show aimed at children, Televisa’s Código F.A.M.A. He earned a spot on the show, and that stroke of luck helped the precocious young man hone his skills as a dancer, singer, and performer. His breakthrough came in 2010 with Ni Hoy Ni Mañana, an album of hard-hitting corridos—mostly self-penned—hailed for their cinematic scope. Life unfortunately imitated art, however, and in 2011 he was ambushed after a concert. His driver and his cousin/business manager were killed; he released the furious, verbose corrido “Ramiro Caro” about the deaths later that year. But the experience seemed to force a change in direction: Ortíz had been writing romantic ballads and giving them to other artists, but on 2011’s Entre Dios y El Diablo, he kept one back for himself: “Amor Confuso.” It was a hit, and it established the singer’s versatility. He’s been richly rewarded, with more No. 1 records than any other solo artist in Regional Mexican music history—including the great Vicente Fernández.

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