Los Tigres del Norte

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Los Tigres del Norte
están feos
Los Tigres del Norte at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, California.
Background information
Origin Sinaloa, Mexico
Genres Norteño
Years active 1968 (1968)–present
Labels Fonovisa, Fama World Circles (1968-1984)
Associated acts Zack de la Rocha
Website lostigresdelnorte.com
Members Jorge Hernández
Hernán Hernández
Eduardo Hernández
Luis Hernández
Óscar Lara
Past members Freddy Hernández

Los Tigres del Norte (Spanish for "The Tigers of the North") is a norteño-band ensemble based out of San Jose, California with origins in Rosa Morada, a sindicatura in Mocorito, Sinaloa, Mexico.


Jorge Hernández performing in August 2008

The group was started by Jorge Hernandez, his brothers, and his cousins. They then began recording after moving to San Jose, California in the late 1960s, when all the members were still in their teens.[1] They were sponsored by a local record company, Discos Fama, owned by an Englishman named Art Walker, who took them under his wing and helped them find jobs and material, as well as recording all of their early albums.[1]

The Tigres were at first only locally popular, but took off after Jorge and Art Walker heard a Los Angeles mariachi singer perform a song in the early 1971 about a couple of drug runners, Emilio Varela and Camelia la Texana. There had been occasional ballads (corridos, in Mexican terminology) about the cross-border drug trade ever since Prohibition in the 1920s, but never a song as cinematic as this, featuring a woman smuggler who shoots the man and takes off with the money. After getting permission to record this song, Los Tigres del Norte released "Contrabando y traición" ("Contraband and Betrayal") in 1974.[2] The song quickly hit on both sides of the border, inspired a series of movies, and kicked off one of the most remarkable careers in Spanish-language music.

In norteño/conjunto form (a style featuring accordion that originated along the Texas border region), Los Tigres del Norte have been able to portray "real life" in a manner that strikes a chord with people across the Americas. Many of their most popular songs consist of tales or corridos about life, love, and the struggle to survive in an imperfect world. They regularly touch on the subject of narcotics and illegal immigration, but they have also shared stories of love and betrayal between a man and a woman. Together, the band and its public has turned norteño music into an international genre. The band has modernized the music, infusing it with bolero, cumbia, rock rhythms, waltzes, as well as effects of machine guns and sirens integrated with the music.

On January 9, 2007, Los Tigres del Norte was honored as a BMI Icon at the 14th annual BMI Latin Awards. Los Tigres, who were saluted that evening with an all-star musical tribute, were being honored as BMI Icons for their "unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers." They joined an elite list that includes such Latin music giants as Juan Luis Guerra and Carlos Santana.[3]

On October 16, 2009, Los Tigres del Norte held a Concert in Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon (outside of Monterrey) at the Annual Expo Guadalupe that lasted 12 hours, breaking their own record of 9 hours from previous year. It began on Saturday night and ended on Sunday at 9 a.m., not uncommon for Los Tigres del Norte. They are known for having encores at their concerts that can last more than an hour after the scheduled ending of the concert.

They have performed before the United States Armed Forces in Japan and South Korea.[4]

In 2010, the band made headlines by joining in a massive international boycott of the U.S. state of Arizona, in response to the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act.[5]

On October 8, 2013, Los Tigres del Norte played at an immigration reform rally on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Their setlist included songs that underscored the themes the rally would address including “La Puerta Negra,” “De Paisano a Paisano,” and “Mis Dos Patrias.” The band was introduced by then Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Mexican-American singer-songwriter and actress, Lila Downs, also accompanied the group in a series of duets.[6]

In 2014 Los Tigres del Norte released the album Realidades, which contains the song “Era Diferente” (meaning “She Was Different”) about a lesbian teenager who falls in love with her best friend; according to lead singer and songwriter Jorge Hernandez, this is the first time a norteño group has ever written a gay love song.[7][8]

The band has sold 32 million records as of 2007.[9] As of 2015 they have seven Grammys and six Latin Grammys and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[10][8] They received the Special Recognition (Spanish language) Award at the 26th annual GLAAD Media Awards in 2015, for their song "Era Diferente" ("She Was Different").[11] The band ranked at number 15 in the list for "The 30 Most Influential Latin Artists of All Time" by Billboard magazine.[12]

All group members are naturalized American citizens.[13]


In May 2000, Los Tigres del Norte founded the Los Tigres del Norte Foundation which is committed to fostering appreciation and preservation of Mexican and Mexican-American folklore. The Los Tigres del Norte Foundation donated $500,000 to the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center, which was used to digitize over 32,000 Spanish language recordings contained in the Strachwitz Frontera Collection.[14]


  • Jorge Hernández – director, lead vocals, accordion
  • Hernán Hernández – bass, vocals
  • Eduardo Hernández – accordion, saxophone, bajo sexto, vocals
  • Luis Hernández – bajo sexto, vocals
  • Óscar Lara – drums

Former members[edit]

  • Raúl Hernández – bajo sexto, vocals (left the group in 1996 to become a soloist)
  • Guadalupe Olivo – saxophone, accordion (left the group in 1988 for health reasons, returned in 1997, then left again in 2001 for the same reasons, and has since performed in Raul Hernández' band)
  • Freddy Hernández – percussion (deceased)


This list excludes the many "Greatest Hits" compilations.

  • Juana La Traicionera/Por El Amor A Mis Hijos (1968)
  • Sufro Porque te Quiero/La Cochicuina (1969)
  • Cuquita (1971) (Official First Album)
  • El cheque (1972) Mexican Release Album Compilation Of Por Amor A Mis Hijos / Sufro Porque Te Quiero
  • "Mi Caballo Ensilado" (Single) (1973)
  • Si,Si,Si/Chayo Chaires (1973)
  • "No Llorare" (Single) (1974)
  • Contrabando Y Traición* (1974)
  • La Banda Del Carro Rojo* (1975)
  • Pueblo Querido* (1976)
  • Grandes Exitos De... (3-LP Compilation)(1976)
  • Vivan Los Mojados* (1977)
  • Numero Ocho (1978)
  • El Que Tanto Te Amo (Single)(1978)
  • Rio Magdalena (Single) (1978)
  • Hermosa Luna (Single) (1979)
  • El Tahúr* (1979)
  • Plaza Garibaldi (1980)
  • ...Un Día A La Vez!* (1981)
  • Éxitos Para Siempre...* (1982)
  • Carrera Contra La Muerte* (1983) (last Discos Fama album)
  • Jaula De Oro (1984) (first Profono album)
  • "Adolfo Mi Compadre" (Single) (1984)
  • Disco Poster (4-track compilation released by Mexican magazine Disco Poster) (1984)
  • La Tumba Del Mojado-Internacionalmente Norteños (1984) (Some sources mistakenly claim that this album was released in 1976)
  • A Ti Madrecita (1985) (reissued in 2015 with 4 new songs)
  • El Otro México (1986)
  • Gracias!... América... Sin Fronteras (1987) (first Fonovisa album, winner of the 1988 Grammy award for Best Mexican-American Performance)
  • Ídolos Del Pueblo (1988) (last album with Lupe Olivo)
  • Corridos Prohibidos (1989) (first album with Eduardo Hernández)
  • Triunfo Sólido – Mi Buena Suerte (1989)
  • Para Adoloridos (1990)
  • Incansables! (1991)
  • Con Sentimiento Y Sabor – Tan Bonita (1992)
  • Una Noche Con Los Tigres Del Norte (1992)
  • La Garra De... (1993)
  • Los Dos Plebes (1994)
  • El Ejemplo (1995) (last album with Raul Hernández before becoming soloist)
  • Unidos Para Siempre (1996) (first album with Luis Hernández & Guadalupe Olivo returning to the group)
  • Jefe de Jefes (1997)
  • Así Como Tú (1997)
  • Herencia de Familia (1999)
  • De Paisano a Paisano (2000) (last album with Lupe Olivo)
  • Uniendo Fronteras (2001)
  • La Reina del Sur (2002)
  • Pacto de Sangre (2004)
  • Directo al Corazón (2005)
  • Historias Que Contar (2006)
  • Detalles y Emociones (2007)
  • Raíces (2008)
  • Tu Noche Con... Los Tigres del Norte (2008)
  • La Granja (2009)
  • La Granja: Secreta (2010)
  • MTV Unplugged: Los Tigres del Norte and Friends (2011)
  • Realidades (2014)
  • Desde el Azteca (2015)
  • Ataud (2016)

The asterisk* indicates albums rerecorded by the group for Profono between 1984 and 1986 following a legal battle over the rights to their recordings for Fama.


  • Ya Cambiara Mi Destino
  • Juana
  • Morena De San Francisco
  • Mi Caballo Ensillado
  • No Llorare
  • Rio Magadalena
  • El Que Tanto Te Amo
  • Hermosa Luna
  • Los Vigilantes
  • Bajo El Cielo De Morelia
  • Quien Te Viera
  • Adolfo Mi Compadre
  • Sufro Porque Te Quiero
  • Rap Norteño (recorded, but never released on any studio album)
  • Un Cuento De Navidad
  • La Navidad De Los Pobres
  • Duro
  • Mujeriego (feat. Don Francisco)
  • Por Amor
  • Aguas Revueltas
  • El Enfermito
  • La Bala
  • Tu Carcel (feat. Marco Antonio Solis)
  • Ataud
  • Cuando Seas Grande (feat. Alejandro Sanz, Gloria Trevi, and J Balvin)


Through their career, Los Tigres Del Norte have appeared in numerous Mexican films, many of which are based on some of their hit songs. In terms of genre, they range from action to drama. Many of the actors in these films include Mario and Fernando Almada, Eric Del Castillo, Pedro Infante, Jr., Jorge Reynoso, Lucha Villa, Cecilia Camacho, and Bernabe Melendez "El Gatillero".

  • La Banda Del Carro Rojo (1976)
  • La Muerte Del Soplon (1978)
  • La Jaula De Oro (1986)
  • La Puerta Negra (1988)
  • Tres Veces Mojado (1988)
  • Ni Parientes Somos (1989)
  • La Camioneta Gris (1989)
  • Los Tres Gallos (1990)
  • Amor A La Medida (1992)
  • La Misma Luna (2008)

In December 2016, it has been reported that Amateur Films is producing "Jefes De Jefes", a feature-length documentary about Los Tigres Del Norte's history and cultural influence. A release date is not yet announced.

Awards and Nominations[edit]

Grammy Awards[edit]

Year Work Category Result
1987 El Otro Mexico Best Mexican/Mexican-American Album Nominated
1988 Gracias!....America...Sin Fronteras Won
1989 Idolos del Pueblo Nominated
1990 Corridos Prohibidos Nominated
1992 Para Adoloridos Nominated
1993 Con Sentimiento y Sabor Nominated
1994 La Garra de... Nominated
1998 Jefe de Jefes Nominated
2004 La Reina del Sur Nominated
2009 Raices Best Norteño Album Won
2010 Tu Noche con... Los Tigres del Norte Won
2012 MTV Unplugged: Los Tigres del Norte and friends Best Banda or Norteño Album Won
2016 Realidades (Deluxe Edition) Best Regional Mexican Music Album (including Tejano) Won


External links[edit]