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Adán Sánchez, 1984–2004

Photo by Gregory Bojorquez

Two weeks ago, the headline of my story on Adán Sánchez, son of Mexican music legend Chalino Sánchez, read, “Like Father, Like Son: Adán takes over.” A tragic twist of fate has ended the line of succession: Adán, while en route to a gig in Tuxpan, was killed Saturday, March 27, in an automobile accident in Sinaloa, the same Mexican state where his father was shot to death 12 years ago.

KBUE-FM 105.5 listeners got a shock Saturday night upon hearing a Mexican police official confirm the death of Adán. The station played his music all weekend, and on Sunday set up a Lincoln Heights homage that brought out 10,000 faithful fans in record heat.

Only on March 20, I had watched Adán become the youngest artist to headline the Kodak Theater, performing an incredible sold-out two-hour concert. I had never seen Chalino sing, but on that night, boosted by a multimedia father-and-son presentation, Adán evoked the spirit of his padre. He would have been 20 on April 14.

Humility was what I remember most of “El Compita.” When we first met, for an interview at the Olive Garden in Burbank, a couple of Mexican restaurant employees recognized Adán and asked for his autograph. He acknowledged each one as compa (buddy). When he saw that Univision had given me a copy of his new CD, Un Soñador, he took it and inscribed it. When I later opened the case, it read, “Para Ben, Su Amigo Adán.”