Ritchie Valens was the first Mexican-American rock star. His career lasted
only eight months, during which time he scored several hits including “La
Bamba” and “Donna”, both in 1958.
On February 3, 1959, on what has become known as The Day the Music
Died, Valens was killed in a small-plane crash in Iowa that also claimed the
lives of fellow musicians Buddy Holly and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson.
Ritchie Valens was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.