Fans of Tejano Music Mourn Death of Legend Emilio Navaira

Photo of Emilio Navaira
Photo of Emilio Navaira posted to his official Twitter account, @EmilioNavaira.@EmilioNavaira on Twitter

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By Brian Latimer

Fans of Tejano music are mourning the death of Grammy award-winning musician Emilio Navaira, who died at the age of 53, according to his official Twitter account.

Alongside beloved singer Selena, who was shot and killed in Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1995, they were known as the king and queen of Tejano music, popularizing the genre for millions of listeners.

"He really was the king of Tejano music," San Antonio disc jockey Randy Carroll said to Reuters. "He was the male to Tejano music what Selena was as the female to Tejano music."

According to reports his family members found him unconscious and called 911; later doctors pronounced him dead, and it is believed he suffered a heart attack, though an autopsy is planned.

Navaira brought showmanship to Tejano music, along with a unique dance that became known as the "Emilio Shuffle."

"The musical family of Texas is in mourning," Norma Duran of XimA Promotions, a music-oriented public relations firm, to Facebook in Spanish. "Rest in Peace, Emilio Navaira. My condolences to all your family and fans."

Navaira, born in 1962, began his career with David Lee Garza y Los Musicales in the late 1980s. His musical and dancing influence in the "Emilio Shuffle" still inspires fans today.

Tejano music uses the accordion, brought to Texas by German settlers in the 19th century, and the beat of European polka music, and sets them to the form of traditional Mexican ballads, to create its distinct sound.

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