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Antonio Aguilar statue unveiled during Mexican Independence day in Los Angeles

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Thousands gathered Sunday to honor Antonio Aguilar during celebrations of Mexican Independence Day, when a statue of him was unveiled in a plaza close to little Olvera St.

The 10-foot bronze statue, which shows Aguilar in his charro riding a horse, was designed and built by Dan Medina, a Los Angeles artist whose grandparents emigrated from Guadalajara, Mexico. It was inspired by one of Silvestre’s (Aguilar’s wife) favorite photographs and sits on an 8-foot pedestal made of stone quarried in Zacatecas, Medina said.

“El charro de Mexico,” Antonio Aguilar, released more than 165 records and more than 100 films, and was extremely popular both here and in Mexico. Aguilar helped popularize Mexican ranchera music in the United States and was also awarded a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. The Mexican singer and actor, died in 2007 at the age of 88.

Councilman José Huízar, said that by honoring Aguilar the monument also would be honoring charro culture and ranchera music, which belong to the cultural heritage of many L.A. Latino immigrants from Mexico.