José Alfredo Jiménez was a Mexican singer-songwriter in the ranchera style. His songs are considered an integral part of the Mexican musical heritage. He had no musical training—according to the singer Miguel Aceves Mejía, Jiménez didn\'t play an instrument. Nonetheless he composed more than 1000 songs.
In addition to his own hit recordings, many of his songs have been recorded successfully by renowned recording artists from around the Spanish-speaking world, most notably by Miguel Aceves Mejía, Pedro Infante, Rocío Dúrcal, Javier Solís, Pedro Fernández, Jorge Negrete, Vikki Carr, Luis Miguel, Lola Beltrán, Alejandro Fernández, Maná, Antonio Aguilar, Vicente Fernández, Julio Iglesias, and Los Tigres del Norte.
Jiménez, like others of his contemporaries (Jorge Negrete, Pedro Infante and Javier Solís, the so-called "Three Mexican Roosters", or Tres Gallos Mexicanos), died young. He was struck-down by hepatitis at age 47 and is regarded, along with Agustín Lara and Juan Gabriel, as one of the best songwriters that Mexico has ever produced. He was certainly one of the most prolific composers in the history of popular music, worldwide.
Shortly before his death, he wrote and recorded his last song, "Gracias", thanking the public for all of the affection they had shown him. His tomb has become a place of pilgrimage for serious music fans from around the Spanish-speaking world.