As the music world mourns the loss of Mexican icon Vicente Fernández, the "king of country" George Strait paid tribute to the late 81-year-old, whose illustrious career as the "king of rancheras" spanned decades in music and film.
"Sad news today. We lost The amazing legendary Vicente Fernández this morning," Strait wrote on Twitter. "One of my heroes. May he Rest In Peace and may God bless and comfort his family. Hasta la Cruz Chente!!"
Strait had covered "El Rey," singing entirely in Spanish on his album "Twang," a first in his career.
Get Southern California news, weather forecasts and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC LA newsletters.
The 1971 song was originally by José Alfredo Jiménez, and was a well-known cover by Fernández.
Fans replied to Strait's tweet, thanking him for acknowledging how much the Mexican singer influenced Strait, with some users saying they were crying and others saying they greatly respected his tribute tweet.
Strait's Facebook post honoring "Chente" also was liked nearly 60,000 times by his millions of followers.
News of Fernández's death broke Sunday via his Instagram page.
"Rest in peace, Mr. Vicente Fernández. We regret to inform you of his death on Sunday, December 12 at 6:15 a.m.," a post on the singer's Instagram page said. "It was an honor and a great pride to share with everyone a great musical career and to give everything for his audience. Thank you for continuing to applaud, thank you for continuing to sing."
PHOTOS: Vicente Fernández Through the Years
Fernández was plagued by health issues for years, and also suffered from Guillain-Barré syndrome. He was hospitalized for four months after a fall at his ranch.
By Monday, a livestreamed burial service was already underway. Fernández was to be buried at his ranch near the city of Guadalajara, his family said.
Fernández, also known as "Chente," was known for his operatic range, his songs of heartbreak, and he was compared to Frank Sinatra.
His hits include "El rey," "Volver, volver" and "Por tu maldito amor."
Fans congregated at his Hollywood Walk of Fame star Sunday evening, playing music and weeping for his loss, when shots rang out. The man accused of opening fire was taken into custody, the Los Angeles Police Department said.