Fernando Villalona, the first artist named “El Mayimbe” (born in Loma de Cabrera, Dajabón Province on May 7, 1955, Ramón Fernando Villalona Évora is a Dominican merengue singer whose popularity started to grow in the late 70s and has not declined ever since.
Fernando began singing at a very early age and became popular after participating in “El Festival de la Voz”, an amateur TV talent show. After that, merengue icon Wilfrido Vargas hired him to be part of his group Los Hijos del Rey but Fernando and the group would soon be separated after his popularity became larger than the group itself. He would then go into a period of drugs and isolation but never stopped singing, recording some of his best music during that period.
Songs such as “Tabaco y ron”, “Celos,”, “Te Amo Demasiado,”,”La Hamaquita”, “Dominicano Soy,” “Sonámbulo,” and “Carnaval” among others became popular in the 1980s. “Quisqueya,” “No Podrás,” “Música Latina,” “Retorno,” and “Me he Enamorado” were some of his biggest hits in the 1990s.
In recent years he has had some health problems making performing a difficult task. But besides the fact that he has not been able to perform frequently, he probably still is the most important merengue singer in Dominican history. He was married to a Puerto-Rican woman named Evelyn Jorge and they have a daughter named Paloma.