Chalino Sánchez

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Rosalino "Chalino" Sánchez Félix (August 30, 1960 - May 16, 1992) was a Regional Mexican singer and songwriter best known for his corrido recordings.

Chalino Sanchez
"Image result for chalino sanchez"
Chalino posing with his Colt M1911 Pistol.
Rosalino Sanchez Felix

(1960-08-30)30 August 1960
El Guayabo, Sinaloa, Mexico [1]
Died16 May 1992(1992-05-16) (aged 31)
Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico
Cause of deathAssassination by gunshot wound
Resting placeLos Vacitos, Sinaloa, Mexico[2][3]
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Years active1984–1992
Marisela Vallejos Felix
(m. 1984)
Musical career
OriginSouth Central Los Angeles, California
  • Vocals
  • Musart
  • Balboa Records
  • Cintas Acuarios
Associated acts
  • Los Amables Del Norte
    Graciela Beltrán
    Los Cuatro de la Frontera
    Los Guamúchileños
    Banda Brava
    Banda Flor Del Campo
    Banda Santa Cruz
    Banda La Costeña
    Vaquero Musical

Chalino's son Adán Chalino Sánchez was born April 14, 1984, and was also a Regional Mexican singer in his own right.[4] Chalino's son died in a suspicious automobile accident in Sinaloa.[5]

Early lifeEdit

Chalino Sanchez was born in a small ranch known as "El Guayabo" in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. He was the youngest of 7 children that Santos Sanchez (?-1964) and Senorina Felix (?-1991) shared. According to his sister Juana Sanchez, he was a curious and mischievous child who always dreamed of becoming a famous singer. He was born into a poor family and lived a difficult life. His parents named him Rosalino, but he thought it sounded too much like a woman's name; he preferred the nickname Chalino.[6]

Murder of "Chapo" PerezEdit

When he was 15 in 1975, his sister was raped by a rich man known for being powerful and dangerous. Two years afterward in 1977 when Chalino was 17, while at a party, Sanchez saw the man and took revenge into his own hands. Sanchez allegedly took the man's life by shooting him to death.[7] After committing this act, Sanchez left to Tijuana, Mexico with nothing but his gun and Jesus Malverde chain. During his time in Tijuana, he worked as a "Coyote", someone who smuggles people into the United States.

Life in the United StatesEdit

Los Angeles, CaliforniaEdit

In 1977, he crossed into the United States and made it to Los Angeles, California to live with an aunt in the City of Inglewood. He washed dishes, sold cars, and for a while, dabbled in drug dealing small quantities of marijuana and cocaine, according to friends. He also helped his older brother, Armando, run an immigrant-smuggling business. But that ended in 1984 when Armando was shot and killed in a Tijuana hotel.[8]

Chalino Sanchez also was an undocumented migrant worker in the state of Oregon before finally settling in Inglewood California.


In 1984, he married Marisela Vallejos in a simple and intimate wedding. They first met because she was a friend of his cousin Rosalba. When they got married, their first son, Adan Sanchez, was already on the way. They shared two children, Adan Sanchez and Cynthia Sanchez. They were married until Chalino Sanchez's death in 1992.

In 1984, Chalino's brother died in Tijuana, which inspired him to compose his first corrido.[9] Around this time, Chalino was put into jail and it is said that this is where his musical journey began.[10] He began to compose songs for his fellow inmates and anyone that had a story worth telling. Chalino began to earn money through his compositions and would be gifted with guns and "presents" by his customers. Among his many compositions are Lucio Villareal, El Pelavacas,[11] and Jorge "El Coquio" Castro. A small group known as "Los Cuatro de la Frontera" recommended Chalino to go to a recording studio in Olympic Blvd in Los Angeles. The studio was called San Angel Records and was owned by Angel Mariscal. Originally, another artist was meant to sing Chalino's compositions. However, when the man canceled, Chalino decided to sing his own songs.

Rise to FameEdit

In 1989, Chalino recorded a cassette of 15 songs which was then followed by many more cassettes. He stocked tapes at local Swapmeets, Bakeries, and various other businesses across South Central Los Angeles as well as selling them out of his car trunk. Chalino eventually connected with another Mexican immigrant, Pedro Rivera, who had set up a small recording studio called Cintas Acuario in Long Beach where aspiring musicians could record for cheap.

The two became pioneers of the corrido Prohibido—” prohibited corridos,” songs that mythologized the bad, whether drug smugglers, murderers, or just plain Valientes. The Cintas Acuario roster (which later included Pedro’s children, Lupillo, Juan, and the late Jenni Rivera) received no radio airplay at first, but it didn’t matter; they were becoming the soundtrack of Latino Los Angeles and beyond.

Promoters across the Southland quickly sought to book Chalino at their clubs. Chalino sang his songs, in his cadence and Sinaoloan slang, something no big singer had ever bothered to do.[12]

1992 Coachella IncidentEdit

On January 25, 1992, Chalino Sanchez was hired to sing at Los Arcos night club in the desert city of Coachella, California about 120 miles East from Los Angeles. During his performance to the packed crowd, Eduardo Gallegos, 34, a local unemployed mechanic of Thermal, California, under the influence, jumped up on stage and began firing a small .25 caliber pistol at Chalino. Chalino pulled a 10mm pistol from his waistband and began a running gun battle chasing Gallegos. Four hundred people were in attendance and seven to ten people were reportedly hit in the exchange including Chalino and Group Accordionist member Ignacio "Nacho" Hernandez. A local man was killed (Claudio Rene Carranza, 20), and Gallegos was wrestled to the ground by a bystander and shot in the mouth with his own pistol. Sanchez was in critical condition after undergoing surgery at Desert Hospital in Palm Springs, where Gallegos was also listed in critical condition. The shooting made the U.S. and Spanish-language newspapers and even got a spot on ABC's World News Tonight. Chalino's sales skyrocketed and he finally began to get some airplay, though only for an old-fashioned, non-narco song, "Nieves de Enero." At his next L.A. appearance, El Parral was packed and had to close its doors by 6:00 pm; some five or six hours before he was due onstage.[13][14][15]


On May 15, four months after the Coachella shooting, he played a rare gig in Culiacán at the Salon Bugambilias. On the stage that night, he was given a note stating he would die if he performed that night. Though he looked nervous, he still performed. The show was a huge success but afterward, things turned nasty. Chalino drove away from the club after midnight with two of his brothers, a cousin, and several young women. They were pulled over at a traffic circle by a group of armed men in Chevrolet Suburbans. The men flashed state police identification cards and took one of the brothers out of the car. They told Chalino that the commandant wanted to see him. They talked a bit more and Chalino agreed to go along with the men, getting into one of their cars while the others followed behind.

A few hours later, at 6am May 16, 1992, two Campesinos found the body of Chalino Sánchez dumped by an irrigation canal near Highway 15 north out of town near the neighborhood of Los Laureles, Culiacan. He was blindfolded and his wrists had rope marks. He had been shot twice in the back of the head.



Since his death, his fame and recordings have grown in popularity. Chalino still amasses millions of streams near 3 decades after his death, he is still very popular with young Hispanic listeners.

Select discographyEdit

  • 1989 17 Exitos
  • 1990 13 Mejores Exitos
  • 1990 Homenaje a Pollero
  • 1990 El Bandido Generoso
  • 1990 A Todo Sinaloa
  • 1990 Nieves De Enero Con Los Amables Del Norte
  • 1991 Alma Enamorada
  • 1991 El Pavido Navido
  • 1992 El Pela Vacas
  • 1992 Adios a Chalino
  • 1992 Chalino Sanchez Con Vaquero's Musical
  • 1993 Chalino Sánchez Con Banda Brava
  • 1993 Chalino Sanchez Con Mariachi
  • 1993 Chuyita Beltran
  • 1994 Desilusion
  • 1995 Hermosisimo Lucero
  • 1995 Corridos Con Mariachi
  • 1995 Recordando A Chalino
  • 1995 Más Éxitos Con Chalino Sánchez
  • 1996 15 Éxitos 15
  • 1996 Chalino Sánchez Con Los Amables Del Norte
  • 2001 Canta Corridos Al Estilo Culiacan
  • 2002 Colección De Oro, Vol.1
  • 2002 Corridos De Los Felix Y Los Quintero
  • 2002 Mis Mejores Canciones
  • 2003 Cantando Con Sus Amigos
  • 2005 Corridas Con Banda
  • 2006 Historia Musical
  • 2007 20 Éxitos Inmortales
  • 2007 Duranguense Con Banda Brava


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  4. ^ "Hoy se cumplen 10 años de la muerte de Adan "Chalino" Sanchez" (in Spanish). KQQK. March 27, 2014. Archived from the original on October 29, 2017.
  5. ^ "Fallece Adán 'Chalino' Sánchez". El Siglo de Torreón (in Spanish). March 27, 2004.
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  • Quinones, Sam. (2001). True Tales from Another Mexico: The Lynch Mob, the Popsicle King, Chalino and the Bronx" University of New Mexico Press