Ritchie Valens was a Mexican-American singer and songwriter influential in the Chicano rock movement. He recorded numerous hits during his short career, most notably the 1958 hit "La Bamba."

Valens died at age 17 in a plane crash with fellow musicians Buddy Holly and J. P. Richardson on February 3, 1959, a day later called "The Day the Music Died" by Don McLean in his song "American Pie."