Los Tigres del Norte

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Los Tigres del Norte
Los Tigres Del Norte 1.jpg
Los Tigres del Norte at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, California.
Background information
OriginMocorito, Sinaloa, Mexico
GenresNorteño, Norteño-Sax
Years active1968 (1968)–present
LabelsDiscos Fama
MGM Music
Profono Internacional
Gran Vía Musical De Ediciones
Discos DLB
Associated actsZack de la Rocha
MembersJorge Hernández
Hernán Hernández
Eduardo Hernández
Luis Hernández
Óscar Lara
Past membersFreddy Hernández
Raúl Hernández
Guadalupe Olivo

Los Tigres del Norte (English: The Tigers of the North) are a Mexican norteño band from Mocorito, Sinaloa and based in San Jose, California, United States.


Jorge Hernández performing in August 2008

The group was started by Jorge Hernández, 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, 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 León (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 (1986),” “De Paisano a Paisano (2000),” 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 Hernández, this is the first time a norteño group has ever written a gay love song.[7][8]

The band had sold 32 million records as of 2007.[9] As of 2015, they had won 7 Grammy Awards, 6 Latin Grammy Awards, 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]

The group's lyrics have been cited as examples of Leftist sentiment in popular music.[14]


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.[15]


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

Former members[edit]

  • Raúl Hernández – bajo sexto, vocals (left the group in 1996 to become a soloist)
  • Freddy Hernández - Alto saxophone (left band and now plays with Raúl).

Select discography[edit]


  • 1968: Juana La Traicionera/Por El Amor A Mis Hijo
  • 1970: Si,Si,Si/Chayo Chaires
  • 1971: Cuquita
  • 1972: El Cheque
  • 1975: Contrabando Y Traición*
  • 1976: Pueblo Querido
  • 1976: La Banda Del Carro Rojo*
  • 1976: Grandes Exitos De...
  • 1977: Vivan Los Mojados
  • 1978: Numero Ocho
  • 1979: El Tahúr*
  • 1980: Plaza Garibaldi
  • 1981: ...Un Día A La Vez!
  • 1982: Éxitos Para Siempre...
  • 1983: Carrera Contra La Muerte (reissued in 2013 with songs)
  • 1984: Jaula De Oro
  • 1985: A Ti Madrecita (reissued in 2015 with 4 new songs)
  • 1986: Gracias!... América... Sin Fronteras (reissued in 2016 with songs)
  • 1987: Mi Corazón Insiste (reissued in 2017 with songs)
  • 1988: Ídolos Del Pueblo (last album with Lupe Olivo)
  • 1989: Corridos Prohibidos (first album with Eduardo Hernández)
  • 1989: Triunfo Sólido – Mi Buena Suerte
  • 1990: Para Adoloridos
  • 1991: Incansables!
  • 1992: Con Sentimiento Y Sabor (Tan Bonita)
  • 1992: Una Noche Con Los Tigres Del Norte
  • 1993: La Garra De...
  • 1994: Los Dos Plebes
  • 1995: El Ejemplo (last album with Raul Hernández before becoming soloist)
  • 1996: Unidos Para Siempre (first album with Luis Hernández & Guadalupe Olivo returning to the group)
  • 1997: Jefe De Jefes
  • 1998: Así Como Tú
  • 1999: Herencia De Familia
  • 2000: De Paisano A Paisano (last album with Lupe Olivo)
  • 2001: Uniendo Fronteras
  • 2002: La Reina Del Sur
  • 2004: Pacto De Sangre
  • 2005: Directo Al Corazón
  • 2006: Historias Que Contar
  • 2007: Detalles Y Emociones
  • 2008: Raíces
  • 2008: Tu Noche Con Los Tigres Del Norte
  • 2009: La Granja
  • 2010: La Granja: Secreta
  • 2011: MTV Unplugged: Los Tigres Del Norte And Friends
  • 2012: La Bala
  • 2013: Carrera Contra La Muerte (2013 Remasterizado)
  • 2014: Realidades
  • 2015: Desde El Azteca
  • 2015: A Ti Madrecita (2015 Remasterizado)
  • 2016: Ataud
  • 2016: Gracias!... América... Sin Fronteras (2016 Remasterizado)
  • 2017: Mi Corazón Insiste (2017 Remasterizado)
  • 2018: Para Sacarte De Mi Vida


  • 1984: Los Tigres Del Norte


Los Tigres del Norte[edit]

  • "Por Amor A Mis Hijos"
  • "De Un Rancho A Otro"
  • "El Cheque"
  • "El Ausente"
  • "Mi Gran Cariño"
  • "Sufro Porque Te Quiero"
  • "Polka Texas"
  • "Las Tres Mujeres"
  • "Los Sufrimientos"
  • "El Sordo Mudo" (side 2 track)
  • "La Cochicuina"
  • "Ya Cambiara Mi Destino"
  • "Las Tres Mujeres"
  • "Mi Caballo Ensillado"
  • "Morena De San Francisco"
  • "Hermosa Luna"
  • "Rio Magadalena"
  • "El Que Tanto Te Amo"
  • "Quien Te Viera"
  • "Adolfo Mi Compadre" (1984)
  • "La Puerta Negra" (1986)
  • "Rap Norteño" (single-only release)
  • "Un Cuento De Navidad"
  • "La Navidad De Los Pobres"
  • "Duro"
  • "Mujeriego" (feat. Don Francisco)
  • "Por Amor"
  • "Aguas Revueltas"
  • "El Enfermito"
  • "La Bala" (2014)
  • "Tu Carcel" (feat. Marco Antonio Solis)
  • "Ataud" (2016)
  • "Cuando Seas Grande" (feat. Alejandro Sanz, Gloria Trevi, and J Balvin)
  • "Para Sacarte De Mi Vida" (feat. Alejandro Fernandez)

Guest appearances[edit]

  • Hermanitas Rodarte - "Dile Pajarillo"
  • Hermanitas Rodarte - "Me Voy De Estas Tierras"
  • Lupita Alatorre - "No Es Culpa Mia"


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".

In December 2016, media reports stated that Amateur Films would be producing Jefes De Jefes, a feature-length documentary about Los Tigres del Norte's history and cultural influence; no release date was announced.

  • 1978: La Banda Del Carro Rojo
  • 1978: La Muerte Del Soplon
  • 1987: La Jaula De Oro
  • 1988: La Puerta Negra
  • 1989: Tres Veces Mojado
  • 1990: Ni Parientes Somos
  • 1990: La Camioneta Gris
  • 1991: Los Tres Gallos
  • 1993: Amor A La Medida
  • 2008: La Misma Luna

Awards and nominations[edit]

Grammy Awards[edit]

Year Work Category Result
1987 El Otro México Best Mexican/Mexican-American Album Nominated
1988 Gracias!...América...Sin Fronteras Won
1989 Ídolos Del Pueblo Nominated
1990 Corridos Prohibidos Nominated
1992 Para Adoloridos Nominated
1993 Con Sentimiento Y Sabor (Tan Bonita) Nominated
1994 La Garra De... Nominated
1998 Jefe De Jefes Nominated
2004 La Reina Del Sur Nominated
2009 Raíces 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


  1. ^ a b Wilkinson, Alec. "Alec Wilkinson, "Immigration Blues," The New Yorker magazine, May 24, 2010". Newyorker.com. Retrieved May 14, 2012.
  2. ^ "Música". www.univision.com.
  3. ^ "Los Tigres del Norte To Be Honored as BMI Icons at 14th Annual Latin Awards". bmi.com. Retrieved October 11, 2010.
  4. ^ "Visión Hispana". Visionhispanausa.com. April 15, 2010. Retrieved May 14, 2012.
  5. ^ El Correo de Guanajuato: "Tigres del Norte, participan en boicot contra Arizona" Archived July 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine (in Spanish)
  6. ^ Montgomery, David (2013). "Los Tigres provide soundtrack for immigrants' lives."The Washington Post. Retrieved on April 27, 2014.
  7. ^ "Realidades - Los Tigres del Norte | Releases". AllMusic. October 7, 2014. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  8. ^ a b Yezmin Villarreal (March 21, 2015). "Los Tigres del Norte Are Making Gay Norteño History". Advocate.com. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  9. ^ article in Washington Post, February 18, 2007
  10. ^ "Grammy Winner search". grammy.com.
  11. ^ "Norteño Kings Los Tigres del Norte on Being Honored for Gay Love Song 'Era Diferente': 'This Brings Us Great Pride'". Billboard. March 21, 2015. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  12. ^ "The 30 Most Influential Latin Artists of All Time". Billboard. April 28, 2015. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
  13. ^ Rohter, Larry (June 27, 2014). "Los Tigres del Norte Breaks Boundaries" – via NYTimes.com.
  14. ^ [1] 18 July 2017
  15. ^ "Los Tigres Del Norte". www.lostigresdelnorte.com.

External links[edit]