There are two artists known as Lucero, an alt-country band from the U.S., and a pop-regional female singer from Mexico.
1) Lucero began quite humbly with vocalist/guitarist Ben Nichols and guitarist Brian Venable. They wanted to play quiet country-influenced songs at punk rock shows. Nichols did the obligatory punk rock route playing in a couple of bands. Venable did the obligatory punk route sans the “playing in a couple bands.” Bassist John Stubblefield and drummer Roy Berry had bounced around local Memphis bands since what feels like the days of the Carter administration; and Berry has had his thumb in just about every musical pie one could imagine. The band started out drummer-less and with a violinist on board, playing to your garden-variety “20 or so friends” crowds.
Last year, after the release of their third full-length album, 2003’s That Much Further West, Lucero began to break through into their first hard-won wave of success. However, this praise was drawn on the heel’s of a series of industry setbacks, as their new record label home, Tiger Style, closed up shop. This followed several years of label problems, personnel shake-ups, and the musician’s collective hand-to-mouth existence.
The complexity involved in making this album and all of Lucero’s uphill business battles are to be included in the groundbreaking forthcoming documentary, Dreaming In America by Aaron Goldman.
In need of some much-deserved forward motion, it was decided that Nobody’s Darlings was to be produced by legendary Memphis musician and producer Jim Dickinson (who has worked with The Replacements, Big Star, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones). The record was recorded and mixed in his barn in north Mississippi.
Some things to get straight... this record is rock and roll. The last one was rock, but a different kind of rock. Much of the “indie” is removed in favor of a proud and tasteful regionalism, and the “country” that folks love to play up about Lucero is now nothing more than a lazy side step from those who don’t pay attention.
“Being from the South is important I think. It gives the songs a place. It makes Lucero what it is. The Pogues could never have been from anywhere other than Ireland. Bruce Springsteen could only be from Jersey. I'd like to think where we’re from comes through in the songs.”
Nobody’s Darlings was released May 24, 2005 on Lucero’s own Liberty & Lament label, which will be distributed by East West.
The next milestone for the Memphis based band was the release of their 6th album, "Rebels Rogues and Sworn Brothers" on September 26th, 2006. With evidence of musical maturation in tracks such as "I Can Get Us Out of Here Tonight" and "San Francisco" the band continues to solidify its presence as a southern rock standout. Bringing along legendary musician Rick Steff to the studio has helped to distinguish the band as a group with impressive musical savvy and as a force to be reckoned with. With every album Lucero become more Memphis than barbeque and Three Six Mafia.
2) Lucero (born Lucero Hogaza León on August 29, 1969 in Mexico City), is an actress and singer. She started her career at the age of 10 as Lucerito. She is married to singer Manuel Mijares with whom she has two children. Her mother, actress and producer Lucero León, is her manager.
At the age of ten, Lucero started her career as Lucerito in the children's television series Alegrías Del Mediodía and Chiquilladas, where she starred alongside artist Pilar Montenegro. Later, she would share the spotlight with international artist Thalía in the singing competition Jueguemos A Cantar. One of her more popular roles was in a Popeye skit as Olive Oyl.
Her long hair and beauty helped her obtain starring roles the following year in the film Coqueta, alongside singer and actor Pedro Fernández. Later, she would be cast as the star of the telenovela Chispita, which also led to the recording of an album that same year. Curiously enough with the emergence of Lucerito as a singer, she did not record the theme song for the telenovela. Instead that task was given to Timbiriche, the most popular "juvenile" group from Mexico.
Lucero released her debut album, Él, on Discos Musart in 1982. This album was largely written and produced by Sergio Andrade, the man who would later be smothered in controversy along Gloria Trevi. During this period, Lucerito's records were more novelty material than actual records as they were seen as nothing more than merchandise for people who loved Lucerito's cutesy charm. That would all change in 1985 when she released her album Magia.
Magia was a change in style, opting for more teen-oriented pop music. With this record, she gained her first real hit with Fuego y ternura, written by singer/songwriter Prisma. The song was successful across Mexico and Latin America. She recorded Un Pedacito De Mi, her last album for Discos Musart, in 1986. That same year she left Sergio Andrade's management and went to DiscosMelody. Lucero did not promot this album, which ultimately flopped.
In early 1987 she released Lucerito (later re-released as Ocho Quince), her Discos Melody debut. The album was a huge success and brought her to the realms of Mexican pop music where she now competed with teen pop acts at the time such as Timbiriche, Sasha Sokol, Luis Miguel, Tatiana, Chayanne, Karina, and Flans.
In 1989, after six albums and five films, she changed her professional name to Lucero as a symbol of her growth as a woman of 20 years of age. In 1990, she returned to television starring in Cuando Llega El Amor, where she sang the theme song and won The TVyNovelas Award for Best Actress. She won the award again in 1994 for Los Parientes Pobres. In 1996, on, she won the TVyNovelas Award Best Actress award for playing triplets in Lazos de Amor.
Her wedding in 1997 was called the wedding of the year and was televised on Televisa in Mexico and Univision in the United States. That year and until 2004, she hosted the Teletón-Mexico. During a presentation for her theater show Regina in 2003, one of her bodyguards pulled out a gun and pointed it at reporters covering the event. The incident was televised and made national headlines. When Lucero was asked to comment on the event, she tried to downplay its importance, which caused controversy among the media in Mexico.
She was currently starring in a telenovela of Televisa titled, Alborada. After her starring role in this soap opera, Lucero began to record her next album in the spring of 2006. Currently, this soap opera has some of the highest television ratings in Mexico, and the U.S. Spanish network Univision. Lucero is promoting Quiereme Tal Como Soy which was released in September 2006. Listen at Last.fm