Emilio

With the exception of Selena, Emilio Navaira did more than anyone to popularize tejano music during the early to mid-'90s, and though his popularity waned in the wake of his 1995 crossover into the country music market with the English-language album Life Is Good (1995), he remained influential and was rightfully regarded as a tejano legend. Navaira first established himself as the lead singer of David Lee Garza y los Musicales. During his tenure with the group from 1984 until 1988, Garza y los Musicales regularly took home Tejano Music Awards, winning Album of the Year honors in 1985, 1987, and 1989. Following the group's most popular album to date, Tour '88 (1988), Navaira split from los Musicales and formed his own band, Rio, with his brother Raúl. Navaira and Rio debuted in 1989 and, over the next five years, enjoyed remarkable success, commercially as well as critically. His 1995 country crossover album, Life Is Good, was perhaps his greatest success, but his popularity began to wane in its wake. In subsequent years, Navaira continued to perform and record new albums, and though they didn't rival the popularity of his earlier efforts, they were critically acclaimed, regularly being nominated for Grammy Awards (and, in the case of Acuérdate [2002], winning one). After years of fading stardom, a tragic traffic accident in 2008 thrust Navaira back into the spotlight and triggered a reevaluation of his illustrious career and his role as a tejano trailblazer.