Ritchie Valens’ most popular songs
Richard Steven Valenzuela, professionally known as Ritchie Valens, would have turned 81 this Friday, May 13.
The rock and roll singer was born on May 13, 1941 in Pacoima, California.
The star began his music career while still a teenager, joining a band called the Silhouettes.
According to Biography.com, he made history as the first Latin rock music star.
Valens was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.
He died aged 17 in a plane crash with fellow musicians Buddy Holly and JP Richardson.
This popular song is named after Ritchie’s high school girlfriend, Donna Ludwig, whose parents didn’t want her dating the musician.
It was released in 1958 under Del-Fi Records.
The popular ballad was later covered by The Alligators featuring Eddie Ryan.
La Bamba is a Mexican folk song. It’s one of Ritchie’s most popular songs. He released it in 1958.
The song’s popularity remained strong, having been covered by artists such as Los Lobos, Don Ho and Dusty Springfield.
It was the first song in Spanish to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
The below video of the song has over 37 million views. Watch it below.