Enrique Iglesias - Biography

Enrique IglesiasEnrique 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 languages.

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.

Vivir

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 Elton John, 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.

Enrique

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 Bruce Springsteen song "Sad Eyes". The album's second single, "Be with You", became his second No. 1.

Escape

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 Michael 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.

Quizas

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.

Seven (7)

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 is.

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 Anna Kournikova.

Enrique Iglesias Official Website

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