Enrique Iglesias - Biography
Enrique Iglesias (born May
8, 1975 in Madrid, Spain) is a Miami-based Spanish singing sensation
and multimillion-album seller. Iglesias is the son of the famous
Spanish singer Julio Iglesias and of Spanish-mestiza Philippine
socialite Isabel Preysler. He is the brother of Chabeli Iglesias and
Julio José Iglesias.
After the widely publicized
kidnapping of his grandfather in Spain, Iglesias moved to Miami in
1985, at age 10. While in Miami, Enrique enjoyed the luxury of being
the son of a billionaire, but he developed a taste for simpler
things, a fact that would later surface in his concerts, where he
appeared in plain clothes, including white cotton shirts.
Iglesias first performed while in
high school, in the musical Hello Dolly. While attending the
University of Miami, he was auditioned by his future manager, who
was impressed. Using the pseudonym Enrique Martínez, the two
promoted his demos across various record labels. Months later,
Iglesias was signed by Fonovisa and went to Toronto, Canada, to
record his first album in total anonymity.
In 1995, he released his first
album in Spanish. Titled Enrique Iglesias, this was a
collection of light rock ballads, including such mega-hits as "Si Tú
Te Vas", "Experiencia Religiosa", and others. The record sold half a
million copes in its first week, a rare accomplishment then for an
album recorded in a language other than English.
His song "Por Amarte" was included
in Televisa's telenovela Marisol, but with a twist: instead
of Por amarte yo moriría (To love you, I'd die), the
words were Por amarte Marisol, moriría (To love you,
Marisol, I'd die). The CD also yielded Italian and Portuguese
editions of the album, with most of the songs translated into those
Five singles released from this
album, such as "Por Amarte", "No Llores por Mí" and "Trapecista",
topped the Latin charts. The album went on to win Iglesias a Grammy
award as Best Latin Artist.
In 1997, Iglesias' star continued
to rise with the release of Vivir (To Live), which put
him up with other English-language music superstars in sales for
that year. The album also included a cover version of the Yazoo song
"Only You", translated into Spanish as "Solo en Tí".
After this success, Enrique decided
to embark on his first concert tour. Insisting on playing large
arenas and stadiums, that summer Enrique, backed by sidemen for
Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel, played to sold-out
audiences all over the world.
Three singles released from
Vivir, "Enamorado por Primera Vez", "Solo en Tí" and "Miente",
topped the Latin Singles Chart as well as those in several
Spanish-speaking countries. Along with his father and Luis Miguel,
Enrique was nominated for an American Music Award in the first-ever
awarded category of Favorite Latin Artist. It was said beforehand
that the elder Iglesias would walk out if he did not win the award.
Enrique lost out to his father this time, but did perform the song "Lluvia
Cae" at the event.
Cosas del Amor
In 1998 Enrique released his third
album, Cosas del Amor (Things of Love). Taking a more
mature musical direction, the album, aided by the popular singles
"Esperanza" and "Nunca Te Olvidaré", helped cement his status in the
Latin music scene.
Enrique did a short tour of smaller
venues to accompany the release of the album, with one show being
televised from Acapulco, Mexico. This was followed by a larger world
tour of over eighty shows in even bigger venues. The Cosas del Amor
Tour was the first ever concert tour sponsored by McDonalds.
Enrique won an American Music Award
in the category of Favourite Latin Artist against Ricky Martin and
Los Tigres del Norte . The song "Nunca Te Olvidaré" was also used as
the theme music for a spanish soap opera of the same name.
By 1999, Iglesias had begun a
successful crossover career into the English-language music market.
Thanks to other successful crossover acts, most notably that of
Ricky Martin, Latino artists and music had a great surge in
popularity in mainstream music. Iglesias' contribution to the
soundtrack of Will Smith's movie Wild Wild West, "Bailamos"
became a No. 1 hit single.
After signing a multi-album deal
with Interscope, Iglesias recorded and released his first full CD in
English, Enrique. The pop album with some Latin influences
contained a duet with Whitney Houston and a cover of the
Springsteen song "Sad Eyes". The album's second single, "Be with
You", became his second No. 1.
Enrique followed up in 2001 with
the album Escape. Where most of the Latin crossover acts of
the previous year experienced some difficulty matching the record
sales of their first English-language albums, Enrique actually went
on to sell even more. The album's first single, "Hero", became a No.
1 hit in the United States, Great Britain, and in many other
countries. The entire album was co-written by Iglesias.
Escape is Enrique's biggest
commercial success to date. Upon its release, it displaced
Jackson's album, Invincible, from its chart position and soon
outsold it. The singles "Escape" and "Don't Turn Off the Lights"
became radio staples, faring well and placing highly or topping
various charts both in North America and elsewhere. A second edition
of the album was released internationally and contained a new
version of one of Enrique's favourite tracks, "Maybe", as well as a
duet with Lionel Richie called "To Love a Woman".
Enrique capitalized on the album's
success with his "One-Night Stand World Tour" consisting of 50
sold-out shows in 16 countries. Including Radio City Music Hall and
three consecutive nights in London's Royal Albert Hall, the tour
ended with a big show at Stadium National Lia Manoliu in Bucharest,
Romania. The concert launched MTV Romania, with the video for "Love
to See You Cry" being the first to be shown on the channel.
The second leg of the tour, "Don't
Turn Off the Lights", was completed in the summer of 2002, with two
sold-out nights in Madison Square Garden and another two in Mexico's
National Auditorium. The tour finished with a single show in the
Roberte Clemente Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Returning to his native language,
and hot on the heels of his biggest-selling album in 2002, Iglesias
chose to release a fourth Spanish-language album titled Quizas
(Perhaps). A more polished musical production than his
previous Spanish albums and containing more introspective songs, the
album's title track is a song about the strained relationship
Iglesias has with his famous father.
The album debuted at No. 12 on
Billboard's Album Chart, the highest placement of a Spanish-language
album on the chart. Quizas sold a million copies in a week,
making it the fastest-selling album in Spanish in five years. The
three singles released from the album all ended up topping the Latin
chart, giving Iglesias a total of sixteen No. 1's on the chart. He
currently holds the record for the most No. 1 singles on the
Billboard's Latin Chart. His last single from the album, "Para Que
la Vida", reached a million spins on U.S. radio, the only
Spanish-language song to do so.
The video to the song "Quizas" was
the first Spanish-language video to be added to the selection on
MTV's popular show Total Request Live. Iglesias performed the
song on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, becoming the first to
sing a Spanish song on the show, and opening doors for other artists
such as Ricky Martin, Juanes and Jorge Drexler to perform their
Spanish material. Enrique Iglesias included songs from Quizas
in his "Don't Turn Off the Lights Tour", and the album went on to
win a Latin Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album.
In 2003 Enrique released his
seventh album, which he called Seven, the second to be
entirely co-written by Iglesias. Among its more 1980s-inspired
material, it features the song "Roamer", which he wrote with his
friend and longtime guitarist, Tony Bruno. The CD also contained the
song "Be Yourself", a song about independance. (The chorus talks
about how Iglesias' own parents didn't believe he'd ever succeed in
his singing career.) The first single was the song "Addicted", and
was followed closely by a remix of the song "Not in Love", featuring
Kelis. The latter became a dance hit.
With this album, Iglesias went on
one of his biggest world tours to countries he'd previously never
visited. He then played to sold-out arenas in Australia, India and
Singapore before ending his tour in South Africa.
Life and Career
In terms of single-album sales,
Enrique has overtaken his father, Julio, becoming the best-selling
Spanish artist in the world as well as setting a few records of his
own. He has said that if he has children and they wish to follow in
his footsteps, he would naturally expect them to be better than he
Iglesias has also developed an
interest in acting, starring alongside Antonio Banderas, Selma Hayek
and Johnny Depp in the Robert Rodriguez film Once Upon a Time in
Mexico, in which he played the gun-wielding Lorenzo. He says
that he would act again if given small roles that he could fit in
between his musical commitments.
Enrique also played the part of an
evil Roman emperor in an ambitous TV commercial for Pepsi, which
sponsored his last world tour. He starred alongside
Britney Spears, Beyonce and Pink, who turn the tables on him in the commercial.
Enrique has been linked to a number
of women, from former Miss Universe Alicia Machado to teen queen
Christina Aguilera. He currently dates Russian tennis star and model
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