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Emilio Navaira

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Emilio Navaira
Birth nameEmilio H. Navaira III
Also known asEmilio
Born(1962-08-23)August 23, 1962
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
DiedMay 16, 2016(2016-05-16) (aged 53)
New Braunfels, Texas, U.S.
GenresTejano, country, Norteño
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active1983–2016
Discos CBS International
Capitol/EMI Latin
Capitol Nashville
Associated actsDavid Lee Garza, Selena, Ednita Nazario, La Mafia

Emilio H. Navaira III (August 23, 1962 – May 16, 2016) was an American singer-songwriter of Tejano and country music. He is the winner of one Grammy Award and one Latin Grammy Award.

Known to most by the mononym Emilio, he charted more than ten singles on the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks charts, in addition to six singles on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts. Emilio was also one of the few Tejano artists to have significant success in both the United States and Mexico, and was called the "Garth Brooks of Tejano". His biggest country hit was the No. 27 "It's Not the End of the World" in late 1995, and his highest-charting single on any chart is "Por Siempre Unidos," which peaked at No. 7 on Latin Pop Airplay in 1996. Along with Selena, Emilio was one of the most prominent artists that helped popularize Tejano music.[1]

Early life

Emilio H. Navaira III was born on August 23, 1962, in San Antonio, Texas, to Mexican-American parents, Emilio Navaira, Jr. and Maria Hernandez.[2] Growing up on the south side of San Antonio, Navaira found each influence in not only Tejano legends such as Little Joe y la Familia, but also Lone Star country music heroes such as Willie Nelson, Bob Wills, and George Strait. As a student, Navaira graduated from McCollum High School in 1980, received a music scholarship to Texas State University, and majored in music with plans to become a teacher before ultimately deciding to pursue a career as an artist.[3]

Musical career

In 1983 at age 21, Emilio began his performing career by singing lead vocals for David Lee Garza y Los Musicales. In 1987, Cuantas Veces by David Lee Garza Y Los Musicales beat out Alpha by Mexican American singer Selena for Album of the Year at the Tejano Music Awards. In 1989, Navaira formed his own band, Emilio y Grupo Rio.[4] That same year Emilio signed with Columbia Records (then known as CBS Records). This relationship resulted in Emilio recording more than fifteen studio albums to date, including several with his Rio Band.[5]

By the mid 1990s, Emilio began crediting himself solely as Emilio, eventually switching his focus to country music.[6] Between 1989 and 1996, Emilio had released seven Spanish albums with cumulative sales of about 2 million.[7] This success lead to mainstream commercial exposure, with companies such as Coca-Cola and Wrangler Jeans using his songs in their advertisements in the 1990s.[6] Emilio had also gained a sponsorship with Miller Lite beer, who had persuaded him to use their slogan at the time, "Life is good," as the title of his first country album.[8]

Emilio signed with Capitol Records and released his first country music single called "It's Not the End of the World" which reached the Top 30 on the country charts in 1995. His album was a surprise success as well reaching No. 13 on the country charts and also a high placing on the Top 200. Several more singles including a Spanish version of "It's Not the End of the World" followed but none of these singles came close to the Top 40 except "Even If I Tried" which reached No. 41 in 1996. In 1997, he released a second country album, "It's On The House" but it was not as successful as his first country album. Two more minor country singles followed and gradually Emilio faded from country music and increasingly came back to Tejano music.[9]

His 2002 album Acuérdate won the Grammy Award for Best Tejano Album and his 2007 album De Nuevo won the Latin Grammy Award for Best Tejano Album.[10][11]

Personal life

Navaira has five children. His three children from his first marriage to Cynthia Navaira also perform for Grupo Rio. Emilio Navaira IV plays drums, and Diego Navaira plays guitar and daughter Emely. Emilio IV and Diego also had a band named Ready Revolution; in 2016 they formed The Last Bandoleros, a Tex-Mex-foursome that toured together with Sting in 2017. Diego is mainly known for vocals and credited with being on The Voice, which he sadly did not win. He also has two from his second marriage to Maru Navaira,[12]

Navaira has two siblings: Raul "Raulito" Navaira, who performs back-up vocals for Grupo Rio; and Yvette Navaira.[12] Navaira was a Republican.[13]

Driving accidents

Navaira was hospitalized in critical condition after his tour bus crashed early in the morning on March 23, 2008, in Bellaire (a small municipality partially surrounded by Houston, Texas). Navaira had performed the previous night at Hallabaloos, a Houston nightclub and he was at the wheel of the tour bus[14] as it traveled north along west 610 Loop near the Southwest Freeway when it crashed into a set of freeway barrels shortly before 4 a.m. Emilio was taken by Life Flight to Memorial Hermann Hospital[15][16] where a blood clot in his head was removed;[16][17] Emilio's initial treatment included being kept in a medically induced coma and induced hypothermia to minimize brain swelling. Doctors cautioned that he might not survive.[18]

On September 24, 2008, Emilio was involved in another car accident in San Antonio as a passenger while his wife was driving. According to a witness, the Navairas were stopped in a turn lane when a truck crossed at least two lanes of traffic and struck their vehicle. Both Emilio and his wife Maria were released from the hospital the following day. Emilio's agent, Joe Casias, stated that Emilio and his wife were headed home from a rehabilitation therapy appointment stemming from the March tour bus accident.[15]


Emilio was found dead by his wife in his New Braunfels home on May 16, 2016 at 53 [19] Emilio performed his last known concert in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico, on May 11, 2016, as part of a concert celebrating Mother's Day in that city. Reports indicated he suffered a massive heart attack.[1] Authorities said their investigation into the death of Navaira showed that he died of natural causes because of cardiovascular disease, and found no sign of foul play.[20]


Studio albums

Year Title Chart Positions[21]
US Latin Regional Mexican US Country US
1989 Emilio Navaira y Rio Band 8
1990 Sensaciones
1991 Shoot It 14
1992 Unsung Highways 32 11
Shuffle Time
1993 Southern ExposureA 4 2
1994 Sound Life 5 2
1995 Life Is Good 13 82
1996 Quédate 9 2
1997 It's on the House 50
A Mi Gente 46 15
2000 El Rey del Rodeo
2001 Lo Dice Tu Mirada
2002 Acuérdate
2003 Entre Amigos
2007 De Nuevo


Year Title Chart Positions[21] Album
US Hot Latin Latin Regional Mexican US Country CAN Country
1995 "¿Dónde andará?" 25 Soundlife
"Ya" 18 13
"It's Not the End of the World" 27 Life Is Good
"No es el fin del mundo"B 18 12
1996 "Even If I Tried" 41
"I Think We're On to Something" 56 80
"Have I Told You Lately" 62 80
"Por siempre unidos" (w/ Ednita Nazario and Graciela Beltrán)C 17 single only
"Quédate" 32 17 Quédate
1997 "Hoy me siento feliz" 39
"I'd Love You to Love Me" 56 77 It's on the House
"She Gives" 73
2000 "Esperando su llamada" 40 El Rey del Rodeo
2002 "Lo dice tu mirada"A 35 Lo Dice Tu Mirada
  • ACredited to Emilio Navaira.
  • B"No Es El Fin del Mundo" is a Spanish-language version of "It's Not the End of the World".
  • C"Por Siempre Unidos" also peaked at No. 7 on Latin Pop Airplay.

Guest singles

Year Title Artist Chart Positions Album
US Hot Latin
1993 Tú Robaste Mi Corazón Selena 5 Selena Live!
1995 "Ya ahora es tarde" Roberto Pulido 17 Te vi partir

Music videos

Year Video Director
1992 "Como Le Hare"
1993 "Ya No Me Pones Atención"
1995 "Lucero De Mi Alma"
"It's Not the End of the World"[22] Steven Goldmann
Di Que Si
1996 "Even If I Tried" Michael Merriman
"I Think We're On to Something"
"Have I Told You Lately"
1997 "I'd Love You to Love Me"
"She Gives"
2007 "De"
2012 "La Persona de mi vida"


  1. ^ a b Domonoske, Camila. "Tejano Music Legend Emilio Navaira Dies At 53". National Public Radio. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
  2. ^ Burr, Ramiro. (August 21, 1998) San Antonio Express-News Colombian cumbias; Emilio's birthday bash. Section: Weekender; Page 22H.
  3. ^ "Emilio Navaira Bio - Emilio Navaira Career". MTV Artists.
  4. ^ Hinojosa, Cassandra. (February 20, 2004) Corpus Christi Caller-Times Two Tejano kings. Grammy winners Navaira, Little Joe visit Kingsville Section: Weekend; Page E4.
  5. ^ "Emilio Navaira | Album Discography | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Emilio biography". Retrieved November 12, 2007.
  7. ^ DeVault, Russ. (March 7, 1996) The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Tejano's new star. As he crosses over into country, Emilio finds "Life Is Good." Section: Features; Page D1.
  8. ^ Myerson, Allen R. (January 1, 1996). "A Tejano Singer Sets Out To Bridge Music and Nations". The New York Times. Retrieved November 12, 2007.
  9. ^ Carlin, Richard (2003). Country Music: A Biographical Dictionary. pp. 124–125. ISBN 9781135361112.
  10. ^ "Past Winners Search". The GRAMMYs. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  11. ^ "16a Entrega Anual del Latin GRAMMY". Latin GRAMMYs. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  12. ^ a b Emilio undergoes more surgery[permanent dead link]. ABC13. Retrieved on May 22, 2016.
  13. ^ Hollywood Congress of Republicans Archived June 3, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Hollywood Congress of Republicans.
  14. ^ Emilio Navaira in critical condition after accident Archived March 26, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. March 23, 2008.
  15. ^ a b "Emilio leaves hospital after wreck," Archived September 29, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. San Antonio Express-News via, David Saleh Rauf and Hector Saldana, September 26, 2008. Retrieved on October 4, 2008.
  16. ^ a b "Tejano singer Emilio Navaira injured in Houston traffic accident". ABC13. Archived from the original on March 25, 2008. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  17. ^ Grammy winner Emilio Navaira critically injured in bus crash Archived March 25, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. CNN.
  18. ^ "Doctors begin raising Navaira's body temperature". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  19. ^ "RIP Emilio Navaira - Tejano music legend dead aged 53". The Independent. May 17, 2016. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
  20. ^
  21. ^ a b "Emilio chart positions". Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  22. ^ "CMT : Videos : Emilio : It's Not The End Of The World". Country Music Television. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
This page was last edited on 6 November 2019, at 00:06
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