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Ritchie Valens (born Richard Steven Valenzuela; May 13,1941-February 3, 1959) was a singer, songwriter and guitarist. A rock and roll/ Rockabilly pioneer and a forefather of the Chicano rock movement, Valens' recording career lasted only eight months.On February 3,1959, on what has become known as "The Day the Music Died", Valens died in a small-plane crash in Iowa, a tragedy that also claimed the lives of fellow musicians Buddy Holly and J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson.