Nicknamed "Little Miss Dynamite" for her many talents, Shelly Lares is one of the most enduring artists on the Tejano music scene over the last 30 years and a member of its Hall of Fame. She has a large and devoted following due to her powerfully resonant signing voice and charismatic stage presence. Lares writes or co-writes all of her own songs, and is also a talented guitarist and percussionist. She is much loved in the southwest. Between 1984 and 2007, she was nominated and won in several categories for Tejano Music Awards.
Lares recorded for Manny Music between 1989 and 1995. Her fifth album, the 1994 date Quiero Ser Tu Amante, proved a breakthrough and landed inside the Top 40 of the Latin Albums charts. After signing to Sony, her self-titled 1996 album peaked at 35 on the Top Latin Albums chart and its single, "Siempre Lo Esperare," inside the Top 30; it reached number 18 on the Regional Mexican Songs chart. Through the rest of the decade, she released two more albums, Aqui Me Encuentro (1997) and Donde Hay Fuego (1998). She continued to tour and perform regionally. She also wrote for other artists.
Lares kicked off the new century with Mil Besos, her final album for Sony. While it didn't chart nationally, it did well regionally and guaranteed her more nominations at the Tejano Music Awards (including Album of the Year) and touring opportunities. (Since being released digitally in 2010, it has become one of her best-selling records.) Her 2002 album 3 Veces was her debut for Tejas Records, distributed by Select-O-Hits. The album garnered significant regional airplay and sales and netted her her first Female Vocalist of the Year win at the Tejano Music Awards. 2003's Encore saw Lares re-recording her earliest hits with modern technology. For those who had grown up in the LP and cassette era, it proved the first time they'd heard some of these songs.
Lares immersed herself in touring, writing, and doing charity and community work, particularly with the San Antonio Children's Shelter and Downtown Youth Drop-In Center.
Issued in 2004, Sigue Mi Camino netted her the first of three straight double victories from the Tejano Music Awards as Female Vocalist and Female Entertainer of the Year; the last coincided with her 2007 album Reflejo, her final date for Tejas. Lares continued to record, issuing Mirando Adelante in 2010 and Renacer in 2012 on Shellshock 3. Both records did well on the digital charts and continued to rack up sales years after their initial releases. Her 2013 album, De Mi Corazon, was nominated for a Latin Grammy in the Best Tejano Album category. The same year, two of her songs appeared on the Divas Tejanas compilation alongside peers Alma Pulido, Alicia Villareal, Laura Canales, and Elsa Garcia. In the fall of 2015, Lares took on the role of producer for Crystal Torres' single "Mi Nina Bonita." (The latter was the previous year's Tejano Music Awards' Female Vocalist of the Year winner.) Lares issued her own single, "Trato y Trato," in August. In January 2016, she produced the single "La Otra" for Anjelique Alvarez. A second Torres single, "Sigo Enamorada," was completed in May. Also in the spring, the producer/singer/songwriter became the marketing face of Diva Tequila. When not recording or performing, Lares remains active in community and charitable work and mentoring other artists. ~ Sandra Brennan