7 Chicano Heroes of Rock and Roll

In several ways, Latinos have been instrumental in adding to, and evolving, American things. Rock and roll is no exception. Whether it’s adding a Latin sound to a classic genre, or simply rocking out, while standing out, the following Chicanos made Latinos a part of the eternal list of Rock and Roll greats.

We love all of them, so much so, that we created a playlist on Spotify.

Richie Valens

Photo: Hi Tone Five Corporation/ LA Weekly

Born Richard Steven Valenzuela, Ritchie Valens, like many Latino artists during the 1950s (and before), was encouraged to Anglicize his name for better marketability (and because of racism, to be honest). It’s even more special, then, that Ritchie’s biggest song is the very Mexican “La Bamba,” adapted from a Mexican folk song. Other legendary songs in Ritchie’s eight month career include “Donna,” and “Come On, Let’s Go.”

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