Elida Reyna (aka "La Reina del Valle Mágico") is a Grammy-winning American tejano singer from San Antonio, Texas. Though Reyna was born in San Antonio, she was raised in Mercedes, Texas. At home she was both saturated with and deeply influenced by the sounds of tejano and norteño groups including La Mafia, Grupo Mazz, and especially Laura Canales.
At the age of 20, she formed the band Elida y Avante (EYA) in the Rio Grande Valley. Quickly engendering a following for their high-energy and emotional performances, they opened shows for many top-tier performers including La Mafia, whose label, Voltage Entertainment, signed them to a record deal. Their debut album, Atrevete, was issued in 1994 and garnered a hit single in "Luna Llena." The album eventually went gold, while the band won the Rising New Artist and Reyna won for Rising Female Vocalist at the Tejano Music Awards.
The band abruptly left Voltage right afterwards, signing with the independent Tejas Records for their (and the label's) second release, Algo Entero in 1997, followed by EYA 1998, and scoring another gold record. Though the classic ranchera "Duele" appeared on EYA 1998, Reyna scored a major hit with it in 2000. She won Female Vocalist of the Year, Female Entertainer of the Year, and Song of the Year at the Tejano Music Awards for that calendar year and went on tour for much of the next two years. Reyna returned to recording with Muevete. In 2005, she, Shelly Lares, and Stefani Montiel formed the group Las 3 Divas and recorded a self-titled album, which spawned the hit "La Cumbia del Oeste."
That same year her solo recording Luna Llena appeared, followed by No Eres Para Mi and Mis Raizes. In 2004 EYA commenced sessions for a new album and emerged with Magico, with its smash title single, in 2006. It was followed by an American tour and the studio album Domingo in 2008 on their new label home, Freddie Records. The band undertook an extensive period of touring internationally, playing everywhere from the States to Europe and Asia. A hits collection and a live record were issued in late 2008 and in 2009, respectively.
The release of the studio album Fantasia in 2010 proved to be a landmark for EYA. They won a Latin Grammy for Best Album of the Year; it was the first time a female-fronted act had won the award since Selena. The album Simplemente EYA was released in 2011, the same year she and the band were elected to the Tejano Roots Hall of Fame. It was followed by Contigo Descubri and another hits collection in 2012, with the Billboard-charting EYA Nation appearing in 2013. ~ Thom Jurek