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Los Lobos

Los Lobos members stand together on a hill overlooking Los Angeles.
By Piero F. Giunti
Courtesy Los Lobos

California Connection:

Formed 1973

  • Launched in Los Angeles


One of music’s most prolific bands, Los Lobos has defined the East Los Angeles sonic landscape for half a century. During that time, the band has played over 100 shows per year and recorded 17 studio albums, seven live LPs, three compilations, two EPs, two DVDs and over 40 guest recordings. Their uniquely melded Chicano rock music has sold millions of records and inspired a global fan base.

Forming in 1973, David Hidalgo, Louie Pérez, Jr., Cesar Rosas and Conrad Lozano earned their stripes playing revved-up versions of Mexican folk music in restaurants and at parties. The band tapped into L.A.’s burgeoning punk and college rock scenes in the 1980s, sharing bills with bands such as the Circle Jerks, Public Image Ltd. and the Blasters, whose saxophonist, Steve Berlin, would eventually join Los Lobos in 1984. The band quickly enjoyed critical success, winning a Grammy for its 1983 EP “…And a Time to Dance.” A year later, the group released its major-label debut and college rock sensation “How Will the Wolf Survive?,” helping them tie with Bruce Springsteen as Rolling Stone’s Artist of the Year.

With the release of the Ritchie Valens biopic “La Bamba”(1987), Los Lobos’ cover of Valens’ signature song topped the U.S. and U.K. charts and shot them to international fame. Rather than capitalize on its commercial success, the band took an artistic turn with “La Pistola y El Corazón”(1988), a Grammy-winning tribute to Tejano and Mariachi music. In 1992 the group recorded the acclaimed album “Kiko.”

Proud Chicanos and cultural ambassadors, Los Lobos has penned some of the most literate and important music of their time, transforming the hard cries from the East L.A. barrio into songs of hope. The band’s music embodies the cultural melting pot of the U.S., blending styles including son jarocho, norteño, folk, country, soul, rock ’n’ roll and punk to create a sound greater than the sum of its parts.

Los Lobos has earned four Grammy Awards, an Austin City Limits Hall of Fame induction, the ALMA Ritchie Valens Pioneer Award, NEA and Hispanic Heritage Foundation Honors, Congressional recognitions and countless “Keys to the City” and “Los Lobos Day” celebrations. The group has continued to deliver daring and diverse albums, unexpected side trips like an album of Disney songs in 2009 and countless contributions to tribute albums and film soundtracks. Los Lobos’ love letter to the city of Los Angeles, “Native Sons” (2021), returned the band to the Grammy winner’s circle with Best Americana Album of 2022. In 2023, Los Lobos celebrated its 50th anniversary as a band with its founding members still intact, a rare and impressive feat.

View more inductees from the 17th class, inducted in 2024.