Trini Lopez (born May 15, 1937) is a Mexican-American singer and guitarist.
Born Trinidad López III in Dallas, Texas, he made his name on the club circuit of the American Southwest before being "discovered" in 1962 by the record producer Don Costa while playing at the PJ Club in Hollywood. Costa was greatly taken with Lopez's Latinized versions of contemporary hits and signed him up to Frank Sinatra's Reprise Records. His debut album, Trini Lopez Live at PJ's, was released in 1963. The album included Lopez's most famous song, If I Had A Hammer, which reached number one in 25 countries and was a radio favourite for many years. He also performed his own version of the traditional Mexican song La Bamba on this album.
His popularity led the Gibson Guitar Corporation to ask him in 1964 to design a guitar for them. He ended up designing two: The Trini Lopez Standard, a rock and roll model based on the Gibson ES-335 semi-hollow body, and the Lopez Deluxe, a variation of a Gibson jazz guitar designed by Barney Kessel.
He later recorded covers of other popular songs of the day, including Lemon Tree (1965), I'm Coming Home Cindy (1966) and Sally Was a Good Old Girl (1968).
During the 1960s and 1970s Lopez moved into acting as well as recording and playing, though his film career was not as successful as his music. His first film appearance was in Marriage On The Rocks (1965) where he appeared with Sinatra and Dean Martin. He was one of The Dirty Dozen (1967) and starred in Antonio (1973). He continued his musical career with extensive tours of Europe and Latin America during this period, remaining firmly within his Latin music genre; an attempt to break out by releasing a disco album in the United Kingdom in 1978 proved an embarrassing flop.
Since then, Lopez has done much charity work and has received many honors, such as being inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame in 2003. He was still recording and appearing live in the early 2000s. Recently he has announced a new CD and taken part in a benefit concert to raise money for the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.
Lopez was originally going to be one of the heroes in the The Dirty Dozen (throw the grenades into the air vents) , but he was kicked off the cast when Lopez's agent demanded more money.