Country/Tejano Artist Emilio Navaira Dead At 53

SAN ANTONIO, TX (CelebrityAccess) — Tejano singer Emilio Navaira, who found success in both Texas and Mexico, died on May 16th at his home in New Braunfels, Tex., near San Antonio. He was 53.

Navaira's brother, Raulito told the Associated Press that the singer was found unresponsive in his home and that he may have suffered from a heart attack after jogging.

Navaira was one of the artists who helped introduce Tejano music to a wider audience of country music fans, and one of the most recognized artists in the form.

A native of San Antonio, Navaira grew up listening to a heady stew of American country music that would later inform his own body of work.

He found his first mainstream success recording for CBS Recordings (Now Columbia). starting in 1989. His 1992 album "Unsung Highways" was his first to break through on the US Latin charts. He would go on to sell more than two million albums, with crossover hits including "It's Not the End of the World" and "Even If I Tried."

In 2008, he was involved in a catastrophic car accident that left him in critical condition with brain trauma leaving him unable to perform for several years. He later pleaded guilty to a charge of driving while intoxicated.

According to the New York Times, Navaira's survivors include his wife, Maru Navaira; his mother, Mary H. Navaira; three sons, Emilio IV, Diego Ramon and Pani Antonio; two daughters, Emely Ann Navaira and Freeda Luna Navaira; and his sister, Yvette Navaira. – Staff Writers