Felipe Arriaga was a famous Mexican singer and actor who achieved fame in the 70s and 80s. He was also one of the closest friends and compadres of Vicente Fernández, the legendary ranchera singer. However, his life was cut short by a brutal murder that remains unsolved to this day. How did Felipe Arriaga die? What was his cause of death? Here is what we know about the tragic end of a Mexican star.
Who Was Felipe Arriaga?
Felipe Arriaga was born on September 27, 1937 in Rancho El Pitayo, municipality of Cotija de la Paz, Michoacán, Mexico. His birth name was José Luis Aguilar Oseguera. He was the eleventh child of Don Gerardo and Doña Meche Aguilar. Due to the poor economic situation of his family, he had to drop out of school after the second year of elementary school and work as an apprentice shoemaker.
He soon discovered his passion for music and started singing in local festivals and events. He also learned to play the guitar and the accordion. He adopted the stage name Felipe Arriaga, inspired by his hometown Cotija, which means “place of arriagas” in Purépecha language.
He moved to Mexico City in 1960, where he met Vicente Fernández, who became his friend and compadre. They sang together in bars and nightclubs, until they were discovered by a producer who launched their careers. Felipe Arriaga also ventured into acting, starring in movies such as “El Hijo del pueblo”, “La ley del monte”, and “El coyote y la bronca”, among others. He recorded more than 20 albums and composed songs such as “Juan Colorado”, “El ausente”, and “El cantador”.
How Did Felipe Arriaga Die?
Felipe Arriaga met a very tragic death on November 3, 1988. He was 51 years old at the time. He was standing outside his house in Mexico City, along with his wife, one of his children, and a friend. They were admiring a new car that he had bought with the money he earned from his singing performances.
Suddenly, a blue vehicle without license plates pulled over near them. Two armed men got out of the car and started shooting at Felipe with a machine gun. He was hit by five bullets from a close range and died instantly on the spot. His companions were terrified and could not do anything to help him.
The police arrived at the scene long after the killers had fled. They could not find any clues or witnesses that could lead them to the perpetrators or the motive behind the crime. It was never established for sure why Felipe Arriaga was murdered, although it was widely speculated that it had something to do with a confrontation he had with an organized criminal ring. Some sources claim that he had refused to pay extortion money or that he had denounced some drug traffickers to the authorities.
How Did Vicente Fernández React to Felipe Arriaga’s Death?
Vicente Fernández was devastated by the loss of his compadre and friend. He attended his funeral and paid tribute to him by singing some of his songs. He also dedicated an album to him called “Recordando a los compadres”, where he sang duets with other singers who were close to Felipe, such as Antonio Aguilar, Pedro Infante, and Jorge Negrete.
He later said in an interview that he still missed him a lot and that he considered him as a brother. He also said that he hoped that justice would be done someday and that the murderers would be caught and punished.
What Was Felipe Arriaga’s Legacy?
Felipe Arriaga left behind a legacy of music and cinema that is still remembered and appreciated by many fans. His songs are part of the Mexican cultural heritage and have been covered by many artists, such as Pepe Aguilar, Alejandro Fernández, Joan Sebastian, and Los Tigres del Norte.
His movies are also considered classics of the Mexican cinema and have been broadcasted on television and streaming platforms. His life story has been portrayed in documentaries and biographical series, such as “El último rey: el hijo del pueblo”, where he is played by actor Alejandro de Hoyos.
Felipe Arriaga is also remembered for his humble and generous personality, his sense of humor, and his loyalty to his friends and family. He is regarded as one of the most beloved figures of the Mexican entertainment industry.