Los Astros de Durango (translated "The Stars of Durango") set out to be a beacon, shining light on the hearts of their people. The group was formed in the 1980s by saxophonist Gabriel Ruiz, vocalist Francisco Ramírez, bajo sexton/keyboard player Israel Monsiváis, electric bassist Israel Ortiz, drummer Marín Mendoza, and vocalist Antonio Elías del Rio. Los Astros formed themselves in the image of their idols Los Tigres del Norte and were mentored by norteño legends Los Montañeses del Álamo. Like many groups from their famously musical region of Durango, Los Astros climbed to prominence playing parties, festivals, and dance halls. Through the '90s Los Astros amassed a large fan base and healthy discography. Describing their sound as "hardcore norteño," the band laid the stylistic groundwork for the post-millennial Duranguense boom. Their first major industry success came in 2004 with the release of their disc Vuelve Mi Amor. Hit singles "La Milpa" and title track "Vuelve Mi Amor" landed spots in numerous regional Mexican categories. Amor de Lejos, released the following year, earned the group even more widespread success. The band was nominated for a Billboard Award for Regional Mexican Song of the Year for the album's single "Los Vergelitos."
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