The Pacoima Post Office was renamed Friday for its hometown hero, rock 'n' roll legend Ritchie Valens.
Valens attended San Fernando High School and was discovered in 1958 at the American Legion hall in Pacoima. He recorded hits like "La Bamba," "Come on, Let's Go," and "Donna," and performed on "American Bandstand."
The post office's dedication to Valens takes place on what would have been Valens' 81st birthday. He was one of mainstream America's first popular Mexican-American artists and a forefather of the Chicano rock music, according to Rep. Tony Cardenas introduced the bill to rename the post office in honor of Valens.
"Ritchie Valens is an example of how even when it seems like there is no path to your dream, you make your own way and build your own path," he said.
He died at the age of 17 on Feb. 3, 1959 in a plane crash that also killed Buddy Holly and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson. He was portrayed by Lou Diamond Phillips in the 1987 film "La Bamba" and inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.
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