Über Espinoza Paz
He's norteno's first official singer-songwriter, a talent who has absorbed the music of his native Sinaloa while putting his own stamp on everything he does. Paz reportedly penned his first song at age 11 to impress a crush. (Even then he must have known talent gets a girl's attention.) His father sent money from the States for a guitar, and Paz went on to teach himself to play. As a young adult he began writing songs as Isidro Chavez Espinoza, but his creative trajectory was interrupted when he immigrated to California in 1996 to work in the fields. After his mother died, Paz returned to Sinaloa and continued writing songs. Following one more agricultural stint in Oregon, Paz finally devoted himself to songwriting in Mexico, and his songs eventually ended up in the hands of major stars such as El Coyote, Sergio Vega, Banda el Limon, Banda Cuisillos (he penned their hit "Mil Heridas"), Duelo, Autentica de Jerez, Jenni Rivera and others. He won Composer of the Year at the 2009 Billboard Awards and brought home his second ASCAP-BMI award for Latin Songwriter of the Year, while also beginning to see success for his own singing.