ALICIA VILLAREAL

After participating in different bands in her native city, regional Mexican singer Alicia Villarreal joined successful Grupo Límite, playing along with accordionist Gerardo Padilla, guitarist Sergio Ponce, bassist Jesús Cantú, percussionist Carlos Ramírez, and drummer Juan Cantú. Grupo Límite debuted with the release of ZPor Puro Amor in 1995, becoming a top-selling group soon after. Alicia Villarreal’s first solo album, called Soy Lo Prohibido, was produced by Homero Patón and released by the Latin division of Universal in 2001. Cuando el Corazon Se Cruza appeared in early 2004, and 2006’s Orgullo de Mujer cracked the Billboard 200, landed at number eight on Top Latin Albums, and earned the singer a Grammy nomination. A Mexican and US tour followed that lasted well over a year. When Villarreal re-emerged with La Jefa in 2009, it relied much more on the traditional Mexican fare of her earlier career than on the fusion of norteno and Latin pop that made her a star. Its bouncy rancheras and sanguine ballads were rife with accordions and tubas dominating the mix. It resonated with fans, too: The album placed well within the Top 200 and hit the number four spot on Top Latin Albums, spending 14 weeks on the chart. In addition, it topped the Mexican Regional albums chart after debuting at number 11 and spent nine weeks in the number one position.