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Elsa Garcia

Musical Roots and

Early Life

Born on January 19, 1954, in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Elsa would go on to make music history and break down barriers with an impact that still lives on to this day.


She was only a year old when her family immigrated to the United States. Elsa's roots took hold in Houston, TX, where her future musical legacy was foreshadowed by the nurturing of her mother, singer Hermelinda Escamilla (known as "Linda La Nortena"), who toured with legendary singers like Las Hermanas Huerta and Vicente Fernandez.  


Before making Tejano music history, Elsa worked as an accountant in a bank then as a successful DJ & Talk show host of "La Puerta Abierta" on radio KYST then "La Voz Del Pueblo" on La Tremenda 1010.


Upon embarking on her own musical journey, Elsa defied industry norms by earning four consecutive Gold Albums/CDs – an unparalleled and unheard of feat, especially in a male-dominated industry and genre. She produced and arranged the music for her records while working with California producer Bob Gallarza.


During 1984, Elsa and her husband decided to create the group "Elsa Garcia & Co." and that year they recorded the album "Yo Nunca Pensé" with the local label Petro City, produced by "El Pocho Loco,” Jesse Alvarado. Finally, in 1986, they signed with the local label PUMA Records, with whom they released the album "Fresh".


In 1987, a new album entitled "Olvidémonos" was released. In 1988, they released the album "Qué Piensas" and finally, in 1989, they released the album "Ella,” this being their last with PUMA Records.

Elsa Garcia and Hermelinda Escamilla (Linda La Nortena)

Legacy, Recognition, and Cultural Impact

Elsa Garcia Pasion Album Cover

When Tejano music began to garner real attention in 1990, Elsa Garcia was signed by the famous record company EMI Music along with her group.  That same year, Elsa Garcia released her debut album with EMI "Simplemente,” which was a bestseller. She had singles such as "Déjame En Paz,” "No Sé,” and "Tú,” which she presented in all the local television programs. The album earned her a Grammy nomination for Best Latin Album.


In 1991, she released the album "Ni Más, Ni Menos,” another success for the group, and in 1992 the album "Pasión" came out. Elsa and the group began to gain more fame and more fans, so in 1993, they released "Escápate" which doubled the success of the past and included songs like "Lo Que Nunca Vas a Olvidar" by Beto Ramon, "Te He Prometido,” by Leo Dan. In 1995, she released "Diez" and that same year recorded her first “live" album on Mother's Day on May 10th in downtown Houston and also at the market square in San Antonio, TX.


Each of her albums were also produced by Elsa herself.


Her place as Tejano royalty was truly cemented in the mid 90s with her notable tribute to Selena at the Houston Astrodome in 1995, the mayor of Houston declaring October 24th as “Elsa Garcia Day” in 1996, and even her own Barbie doll, the first Barbie of a Tejano/Regional music singer being released in the same year. She also released a new studio album titled "Como Tú y Yo", releasing songs like "El Rodeo" and "Me Duele.” 


Then, in 1998, she released what would be her last studio album to date, homonymously titled "Elsa,” with songs that became indispensable in her career such as "Como Tú y Yo", "Por Debajo de la Mesa" by Armando Manzanero and Jorge Massias.


After this album, EMI continued to release compilations such as "Tejano All Stars,” "Puro Tejano Gold: Las Divas de la Música Tejana,” "15 de Colección,” "Original Masters,” "Serie Verde,” among others.


After being nominated for consecutive years at the Tejano Music Awards, in 2012 she earned the prestigious "Lifetime Achievement Award.”


Even after creating a career for the ages, the journey and the story continues for Elsa Garcia.


In November 2023, she was awarded the prestigious "Lifetime Achievement Award" in San Antonio, TX at the Guadalupe Awards.


In December 2023, Elsa announced her appearance at the 2024 Nortex Musical Festival, marking the return of a legendary figure in Tejano music, a trailblazer for female artists, and a true musical pioneer.


  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Elsa was honored with the "Lifetime Achievement Award" at the Guadalupe Awards in 2023 and in 2012 at the Tejano Music Awards, recognizing her enduring impact on the Tejano music scene​.

  • Grammy Award Nomination: In 1991, Elsa was nominated for a prestigious Grammy Award for her album “Simplemente”​

  • Gold Certified Albums: Elsa's discography boasts of success with four consecutive gold albums out of the fifteen albums she has recorded over her career, showcasing her music's commercial success and widespread appeal​.

  • First Female Producer in Tejano Music: Elsa Garcia broke ground as the first female producer in the Tejano music genre, paving the way for other female artists and producers in a predominantly male-dominated industry​

  • International Tours: Elsa toured various countries during her active music years, extending her musical reach beyond the borders of the United States and Mexico.​

  • Radio Airplay in Mexico: Elsa is among the handful of Tejano artists to receive radio airplay in Mexico during the 1990s, highlighting her international recognition and the cross-border appeal of her music

  • Pioneering Representation: Elsa was the first Hispanic to have a Barbie doll made in her likeness in 1996, symbolizing her significant cultural impact and representation in broader societal spheres​



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