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The Chicano Wave

Chapter 8: A New Wave: Los Tigres del Norte

But a new phenomenon fueled by the largest migration in the nation's history was changing the game.

With half a dozen Grammys, and sales in the tens of millions, Los Tigres del Norte, The Tigers of the North has become the most famous band mainstream America never heard of.

They pack arenas all across the country and their style of music, musica Norteña, outsells all other types of Latin music in the US.

And for many of the 12 million Mexican nationals who have immigrated to this country since the 1980s, many of them undocumented, Los Tigres del Norte have become their champions.

The Tigres — four brothers and a cousin from a ranching family in northern Mexico — immigrated to California themselves in 1968.

Today they are U.S. citizens, but spent many years living illegally and much of their music is born of that experience.

[LOS TIGRES SING ACAPELLA] "Because we are wetback the law is always looking for us Because we are illegal and we don't speak English The gringo is determined to kick us out We are determined to return."

[LOS TIGRES SING IN CONCERT] ["Like an eagle in flight Like an animal on the run defying frontiers Defending my honor I have spent my whole life Exploring other lands To give my children a better future."]

The face of America has changed dramatically since recording artists with Mexican names were compelled to hide their identities 50 years ago.

Today, Mexican-American music has a vital place on the American musical landscape.

And someday the children of these Tigres fans will create their own musical fusions — as the vibrant dance between cultures in America continues...

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