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DINNER WITH THE PRESIDENTS

Emilio Navaira dines with U.S. President Bill Clinton and Mexico President Ernesto Zedillo, at the white house.

On a recent visit to the west Coast, Emilio gave us a quick interview, moments before getting back into his limousine, on his way to the airport and return to Texas.

What a more opportune time to talk with Emilio, who just received confirmation of his tour with Alan Jackson.

Q. Was your "cross over" in 1995 a good experience?
A. Yes, it has been very positive. It's been a dream come true, thanks to this country music record. We are about to go on tour with "Life is Good?". The first single, "Its not the end of the World," has done very well. What is great is that Emilio Navaira is starting to gain recognition in other states and countries.

Q. When do you begin your tour with Alan Jackson?
A. In January, he's certainly one of the greatest in country music.

Q. Did you sing country music before or is this a recent venture?
A. Being from San Antonio, Texas, one always sings country. In our Tejano music tours, we always sing country. This isn't new for me. What is new is the record and the tour with country singers. It seems like the public is enjoying it, we are moving forward.

Q. Is it [country] a different atmosphere?
A. That's the big difference. We now relate to other groups, and other musical peers.

Q. Are the rodeos different?
A. The rodeos are the same. My other interest is that people who haven't heard Tejano music are becoming acquainted with it. It is important to me that my new fans are exposed to Tejano so they can begin to know the true Emilio Navaira.

Q. Does this mean that you are incorporating both Tejano and country music in your presentations?
A. Exactly

Q. Tell us about your recent visit to the White House?
A. It was an honor. I've dreamed of going there and being with the president ever since I was a kid. When it finally happened, I also got to visit with the president of Mexico, who was also present. To dine and celebrate with both presidents was something very special.

Q. It must be exciting to be received by the president of the White House.
A. It's something that doesn't happen very often. Again, it was an honor. It's something that I'll never forget.

Q. Did you go with your entire hand?
A. No, I went with my wife and Raulito and his wife, nobody else. We took pictures there, we got great shots. We have very lovely memories.