Sánchez was born in Torrance, California, the son of singer Chalino Sánchez. He was eight years old when his father was kidnapped and killed in the Mexican state of Sinaloa in 1992. His father's popularity skyrocketed after his death in 1992, giving way to a long series of compilation records, postmortem releases, and dedications. Raised by his mother in Paramount, California, he took up singing adopting his father nickname, "Chalino", and gained a strong local fan base among Mexican-American teenagers.Sánchez recorded his first full-length album in 1994, entitled Soy el Hijo de Chalino, notable for the 10-year-old's brash and assertive vocals; the album's rousing title track, evokes the style of celebrated singers from Mexico's Golden Age. As he grew into his teens, the majority of Sánchez's album titles began to revolve around the loss of his father, i.e. "La Corona de Mi Padre" and "Homenaje a Mi Padre". He was also able to widen the genre's popularity even further to teenage girls, thanks to his teen idol persona and focus on contemporary romantic ballads.