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Emilio Navaira, Tejano music star, dies (+video)

Navaira has been hailed as one of Tejano's most popular singers, who helped bring the trademark Texan genre to a broader audience. 

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    Emilio Navaira arrives at the Latin Grammy Awards in Miami in 2003.
    Wilfredo Lee/AP
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Musician Emilio Navaira has reportedly died. 

Mr. Navaira was a star in the Tejano music world, a music genre that often includes the guitar and the accordion, among other instruments. He released such songs as "Como le Haré" and "Remedio de Amor." He and singer Selena Quintanilla also released a well-known duet, "Tú Robaste Mi Corazón." 

La Mafia lead singer Oscar de la Rosa called Navaira "one of the greats in our genre," according to the Houston Chronicle. 

Navaira also released country albums in English, including the 1995 album "Life Is Good," which reached number 13 on the Billboard Top Country Albums ranking. Various songs by him also appeared on the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks chart.

Besides his solo work, Navaira was a member of the band Rio with his brother, Raúl Navaira, and was also the lead singer for the group David Lee Garza y los Musicales. 

"Navairo was one of the Tejano pioneers who helped bring the genre to the mainstream," writes Marilyn Malara of UPI, while Randy Carroll, a DJ in San Antonio, Tex., told Reuters, "He really was the king of Tejano music."

Reuters writer Jim Forsyth notes that Navaira "helped take Tejano music from a Texas-based regional genre to international acclaim… Navaira brought showmanship to Tejano music."

Meanwhile, Piper LeMoine of Austin, Tex.'s Rancho Alegre Radio, an organization that works to explore the history of Conjunto and Tejano music, writes that the music genre has become an integral component of the culture of part of the US.

"The soundtrack of the American southwest would be incomplete without two unique Texas music forms: conjunto and tejano," whose performers "have created a rich, soulful musical identity for millions of Americans over more than a century," Ms. LeMoine writes. "For Texas and the southwest, conjunto and tejano are unique parts of the musical landscape."

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