None of the other diners seemed to have any notion of who they were, and neither did the staff — until a Spanish-speaking waiter spotted them and shyly approached their table. What an honor this is! Though they have made more than 50 albums and sold millions of records in their 45 years together, Los Tigres are all but invisible to mainstream English-speaking America. They see themselves mirrored in us. Over the years, Los Tigres del Norte, whose name means the Tigers of the North, have recorded songs in all kinds of styles, from up-tempo cumbias to languid, bolero-like love ballads. But they are probably best known for their corridos, a traditional style of Mexican narrative song, often in polka time, and usually about a political or social issue or figure. Other songs are about the difficulties that arise once in the United States. Nor have Los Tigres hesitated to wade into the national debate about immigration reform. When Arizona passed restrictive legislation in , Los Tigres were among the first to call for a boycott, and they have filmed public service announcements urging Latinos to register to vote, a message sometimes repeated at their concerts. So how are you going to deport them?
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They then began recording after moving to San Jose, California in the late s, when all the members were still in their teens. 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 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 s, but never a song as cinematic as this, featuring a woman smuggler who shoots the man and takes off with the money. 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. The band has modernized the music, infusing it with bolero , cumbia , rock rhythms, and waltzes. They also prominently incorporate a saxophone into some of their songs. 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.
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This album features prominent composers of the genre such as: Paulino Vargas Jr. By appearing front and center at the biggest of the nation-wide rallies, Los Tigres were lending highly visible support to the millions of immigrants that came together to demonstrate their essential role to the economy and culture of the United States. The dawn of the new millennium has seen the continued growth of Los Tigres del Norte, with the legendary group expanding their reach into new international markets and experiencing the most successful years yet in their nearly 40 year career. Simply put, Los Tigres del Norte have achieved worldwide success by becoming the leading musical storytellers for multiple generations of Latin immigrants. Their unique lyrics of social conscience have endeared them to millions of people who see in them a reflection of their past, present and future. Thus their fans have affectionately nicknamed them ' Los Idolos Del Pueblo", Idols of the town for their sincerity and humbleness.
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