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The dawn of the new millennium has seen the continued growth of Los Tigres del Norte, with the legendary group expanding their reach into new international markets and experiencing the most successful years yet in their nearly 40 year career.
Los Tigres' role as an essential influence to a generation of new Latin music performers was clearly seen with the 2001 tribute album "El Mas Grande Homenaje A Los Tigres del Norte." The album, which is now a highly sought after collectors item, saw a wide range of leading Mexican rock bands performing a collection of Los Tigres del Norte's greatest hits and demonstrating that the group's fan base now spanned multiple-generations.
This respect for Los Tigres was demonstrated again in 2002, when the band gave the most highly anticipated performance at Mexico's `30th Annual Festival Cervantino'. As a special tribute to the group's influence, Los Tigres was joined onstage by top rock performers such as Molotov, La Barranca and Julieta Venegas.
The year of 2002 continued as a pivotal year for Los Tigres Del Norte with the release of the internationally critically acclaimed album "La Reina Del Sur." Inspired by the group, Arturo Perez Reverte, a Colombian born author living in Spain, penned the fiction novel `La Reina Del Sur' - inspired by the heroine (Camelia La Tejana) from the group's famed early corrido "Contrabando Y Tracion." In support of the album, Los Tigres mounted an extensive and highly successful tour of Spain
This would signal the start of Los Tigres Del Norte's greatest international expansion to date, as tours soon followed that took the band to Asia (performing to U.S. troops stationed in Japan and Korea), as well as much more in-depth touring in Chile, Colombia and throughout Latin America.
The group established themselves in San Jose, California - the city that to this day remains their base. It was in San Jose during the early 70's, that Los Tigres Del Norte was discovered by an aspiring music impresario named Art Walker - who happened to listen to a live radio presentation of the group broadcast from the local Parque De Las Flores on Keyes Street, where San Jose's Mexican community congregated on Sundays.
The group quickly became the first artist signed to Walker's upstart Fama Records, which in time became the leading Spanish language recording company on the West Coast. Upon signing, the group was advised to modify their sound from their traditional acoustic, to more of an electric sound with a full set of instruments (drum set, electric guitar, and bass) and went on to record their first album. With time, the group modernized their music, exploring elements of boleros, cumbias, rock, and waltzes.
Their socially conscious tradition began to manifest itself on Los Tigres Del Norte's earliest hits, such as "Contrabando Y Tracion," a tale of contraband and betrayal starring drug trafficking couple Emilio Varela and Camelia La Tejana (1971), and 1973's "La Banda Del Carro Rojo". Their preeminent role as a leading voice on the struggles of immigration took form with later songs such as: "La Jaula De Oro" (1986) which spoke of life in the `gilded cage represented by the United States, where immigrants enjoy economic progress but their childen often forget their culture.
As part of Los Tigres' mutually agreed musical mission, the group has never allowed their image to be misrepresented by being photographed with weapons or by the use of offensive language in their music. They have also taken it upon themselves to express their love and respect of women in their songs and to never glorify `narcotic' themes, instead approaching the subject in the group's role of "true-to-life" storytellers.