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Once a Sad Boy, Always a Sad Boy: Junior H Brings Corridos & Moody Tunes to Chicago

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Chicago’s gloomy Friday the 13th was the perfect setup for Junior H’s Sad Boyz Tour stop at the Allstate Arena. The Mexican corridos singer returned to Chicago five months after he performed at the city’s Sueños Festival in May in Grant Park. This time, he sang at the venue — located northwest of Chicago — with a capacity of nearly 20,000 people.  

“Ese grito de mis niños tristes esta noche (I want to hear from all my sad boys tonight),” Junior H said throughout his sold-out show. The sad boy lifestyle has become a brand for the artist who first delivered his $ad Boyz 4 Life album two years ago. Since, Junior H’s career has catapulted to chart success and massive tours in the U.S. and in Mexico.

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On this particular night in Chicago, he was clad in sporty black slacks, a hoodie that read on the back, “enjoy the ride through the neighborhood,” and crisp white Air Force sneakers — but his accessories were anything but casual. Besides his gold-accentuated dark sunglasses, a diamond-heavy chain adorned his neck.

“Are we drinking or are we not drinking?” he asked a crowd that was ready to kick off their fin de semana (weekend) with Junior H. Throughout his two-hour set, he performed songs such as “Lady Gaga,” “Tronando Ligas,” “El Azul,” “Luna,” “Disfruto Lo Malo,” “Bipolar,” “Fin De Semana” and “Abcdario.” He was backed by a full banda, a norteño ensemble and his corridos band, which includes a tololoche and a requinto. His ability to navigate regional Mexican music subgenres such as norteño, banda and corridos on the stage is what makes Junior H a standout act among a crowded field of young artists.

Signed to Rancho Humilde, Junior H rose to stardom four years ago alongside labelmate and corridos tumbados pioneer Natanael Cano. Most recently, Junior H released his new album, $ad Boyz 4 Life II, on Oct. 6. A sequel to $ad Boyz 4 Life, which peaked at No. 1 on Billboard’s Regional Mexican Album. The new album is just as moody and personal with songs powered by prickly requintos and brassy instruments such as a trombone, a trumpet or tuba.  

Throughout his short but fruitful career, Junior H has scored three No. 1 albums on the Regional Mexican Airplay chart. He’s also entered five songs on the Hot 100 this year alone. All are collaborations with fellow música mexicana hitmakers such as Peso Pluma, Gabito Ballesteros and Oscar Maydon.  

Junior H continues his trek in New York with a show at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn on May 15. He’ll then make stops Texas cities such as El Paso, San Antonio and Irving before wrapping up Dec. 2 in Hidalgo.

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