ENRIQUE IGLESIAS Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


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Following in his father’s footsteps as a sensual Latin vocalist, Enrique Iglesias became the most popular Latin singles artist during 1996, with five immense hits – “Por Amarte,” “Si Tu Te Vas,” “No Llores por Mi,” “Experiencia Religiosa” and “Trapecista” – from his self-titled debut album, released in late 1995. The LP sold over one million copies.


He resurfaced in 1997 with Vivir; two years later, he scored an international smash with the single “Bailamos,” followed by the release of Enrique. ~ John Bush, All Music Guide Enrique Iglesias was born 8 of May of 1975 in Madrid, Spain, though being yet very young, to the age of seven years, was went to live to Miami, Florida, where was educated, and learnt his second language, the English, through which already he has composed some of his songs. Enrique Iglesias is benefitted of has adopted the European culture and the English culture from his childhood, and takes advantage that fact to the maximum to give to his songs something that causes that like in both continents, which enchants to him, because he likes the idea of making music that it arrive to all the ears.


In 1995, to the 20-year-old age, edits his first disk, “Enrique Iglesias", which he had been preparing since he was an adolescent. The disk was a great success, and in few weeks got to be gold disk in Portugal. In total, his first disk has sold almost 6 million of copies around the world. With his second album obtained a great success too, and arrived to sell more than 5 million copies around the world.


Furthermore, Enrique has written some of the topics that he sings in his disks, which makes to him to express exactly what he wishes. In 1997 made his first world tour, “Vivir", with the one which traveled 13 countries, and in 1999 made the second, in the one which traveled Europe, Asia and America. All this has validated to him to obtain in 1996 the Grammy to the better Latin artist, and be nominated to the same premium the following year. It has obtained a great number of gold disks and platinum, and he has been deserved the title of be the more international Latin artist.


This is the album that is the most like me,” says Enrique Iglesias. “I know it’s a gamble but I have faith. If you want to be a success in anything, you have to take that big step.” Escape (Interscope Records), to be released November 2001, will no doubt surprise his hardcore fans who made him the biggest-selling Spanish-language artist in the world as well as those who sent his first English-language album, 1999’s Enrique, to double platinum (six million worldwide) and two of its singles to #1 on the pop chart. Why? Because other than on the album’s first single, the intimate ballad “Hero” (to be released September 25, 2001), Enrique rocks with stadium-sized songs that reflect his love for the music he grew up with.


“I wasn’t thinking of a trend. It was spontaneous. I didn’t know where this album was going to go. I wrote ‘Hero’ first but what changed the direction was ‘Don’t Turn Off The Lights.’ Suddenly Steve (Morales, co-producer/co-writer) and I were playing around with a drum machine and then we picked up guitars and what came out was so far from what I’d done before that we both said, ‘What the hell is this?’” It was rock ‘n’ roll–big and intense. From “Don’t Turn Off The Lights” (and its Spanish version, “No Apagues La Luz") to “Making Love For Fun,” “I Will Survive” and “World Crashes Down,” Iglesias challenges expectations, while displaying his prowess as a songwriter.


“I’m Latin and always will be but my music is not. Even when I sang only in Spanish, it was still pop. What made it Latin was that I was the guy singing. I’ve always said my influences are the musicians of the ’80s: Dire Straits, The Police, U2, even Bruce Springsteen. What I like most about that music is that it was made to be played in a huge arena. I’m going to enjoy singing the songs on this album in concert more than any others because I can see thousands of people singing along. These are songs I imagine someone playing driving their car and just going nuts, beating on the wheel and singing out loud and having fun.”


For Iglesias to take a big, new step forward would not astonish anyone who has studied his career. His fiercely independent streak and fearless nature stretches from shopping his first demos under a pseudonym to his Spanish-language triumphs which blazed the trail for others to follow to being one of the few pop artists in any language who writes most of his songs to a notorious radio and television appearance with shock jock Howard Stern. Even the choice of “Hero” as the initial single from Escape cuts against the grain; the rule is that a ballad is never an album’s first single. Each of the releases from Enrique–the #1 hits “Bailamos” and “Be With You” (a.k.a. “Solo Me Importas Tu"), Top 30 “Rhythm Divine,” his cover of Springsteen’s “Sad Eyes” and his “Could I Have This Kiss Forever” duet with Whitney Houston (also on her 2000 Greatest Hits album)–were uptempo. “But there’s something special about this song,” Iglesias notes. “It feels so perfect. It’s like a whisper in the ear directly from the heart. I want guys to say, ‘That’s what I wish I could say to my girlfriend’ or a woman to say, ‘I wish my guy would say that to me.’”


While “Hero” satisfies the romantic balladeer side of Iglesias, the rest of the album fuels his rock ‘n’ roll heart. “This was the most fun I’ve had doing an album. I felt something in the studio I’d never felt before–magic. It all clicked. I was so into it I practically lived in the studio. At one point I didn’t leave for three days straight and I just slept on the sofa,” he says, adding with a laugh, “I didn’t even take a bath.” For Escape, Iglesias again worked with dance beat masters Paul Barry and Mark Taylor ("Bailamos,” “Be With You” and “Rhythm Divine” and now “Hero,” “One Night Stand,” “She Be The One” and “Love To See You Cry"). Also returning was Lester Mendez (who produced “Sad Eyes” and now co-wrote/co-produced “World Crashes Down"). But while many might have attempted to duplicate a previous success, feeling the pressure of a follow-up, Iglesias chose to follow his own instincts. One result was the selection of highly respected but little known Morales as collaborator on five tracks on Escape.


Iglesias, who co-wrote and co-produced nearly every song on Escape, applied a unique litmus test to judge whether a song would make the album: “If you can play it in any style and it still sounds good. The test on ‘Don’t Turn Off The Lights’ was doing it acoustic. We made ‘I Will Survive’ sound like anything from Run-DMC to disco. We took a lot of time mixing each song. Without a doubt, this is the most detailed album I’ve ever done.” Escape is also the album Iglesias hopes will finally allow him to jettison stereotypes from the “Latin lover” tag ("I hate it; it’s tacky and embarrassing") to “crossover” success ("I crossed over when I was 8 years old and came to America"). Born May 8, 1975, in Madrid, Spain, Enrique is the third child of international superstar singer Julio Iglesias and Philippines-born ex-model Isabel Preysler. His parents, however, divorced when he was three years old. At age 8, his mother sent him to live with his father in Miami.


Other than spending summers in Spain with his mother, he appeared to be a typical jet-skiing, windsurfing Miami teen. “I wasn’t raised in show business,” he says. “I knew what it felt like to be a teenager. I knew what it felt like to not get a date for my junior prom.” What his family did not know was that Enrique was writing songs and dreaming of stardom. “I used to picture myself in an arena singing in front of a lot of people. I’m not talking about just normal dreaming. I’m talking about where every single day that’s all you think about, that’s all you want. This is the only thing I know how to do, the only thing I really love.” After a year studying business at the University of Miami, he decided to follow his passion. In 1995, he sang in person for his soon-to-be manager, who at Iglesias’ insistence first shopped his demos as an unknown Central American singer named Enrique Martinez. It wasn’t until he earned a record deal with Fonovisa that he told his father and mother of his aspirations. Then he flew to Toronto, where no one knew him and he could concentrate just on music, to record for five months. Enrique Iglesias (1996) sold more than a million copies in three months (he earned his first gold record in Portugal in a scant seven days) and to date has sold more than six million worldwide. Vivir (1997) has enjoyed global sales of more than five million discs and launched his first world tour backed by sidemen for Elton John, Springsteen and Billy Joel.


The critically acclaimed road trip was an immense commercial success as well–78 venues, including 50,000+ seat stadiums, in 16 countries, among them the U.S. His second world tour in 1998, with more than 80 performances in support of Cosas del Amor (which has sold almost four million copies), was the first ever sponsored by McDonald’s. In a mere three years, Enrique had sold more than 17 million Spanish-language albums, more than anyone else during that period.


The U.S. was his biggest market: Enrique Iglesias and Vivir are each RIAA-certified platinum, with Cosas del Amor gold and nearing platinum. “Si Tu Te Vas,” “Por Amarte,” “Experiencia Religiosa,” “Trapecista,” “No Llores Por Mi,” “Enamorado Por Primera Vez,” “Solo en Ti,” “Miente y Revolucion,” “Esperanza” and “Nunca Te Olvidare” reached #1 on various charts in the U.S. and 18 other countries. He also won the 1996 Grammy for Best Latin Performer, 1996’s Billboard Artist of the Year, Billboard’s Album of the Year for Vivir, two American Music Awards, a World Music Award; eight Premio Lo Nuestro Awards; two ACE Performer of the Year Awards, and ASCAP prizes for Best Composer of 1996 and 1997, in addition to countless accolades around the world.


In 1999, the European version of “Bailamos” (pronounced “By-LA-Mos,” translated as “We Dance") quickly became the most-requested radio track in the largest U.S. markets, including Los Angeles, New York, Miami and Dallas. Will Smith caught an Iglesias show in L.A. and asked him to contribute it to the soundtrack for “Wild Wild West.” That summer, “Bailamos” hit #1–and co-writer Iglesias won another ASCAP award. Then came Enrique, his first Interscope album and first in English.


The double platinum album, which has now sold more than two million copies in the U.S., has sold more than four million copies outside the U.S., bringing his global album sales to a total of more than 23 million. Enrique was a spectacular success in countries as diverse as Canada (quadruple platinum), Poland (triple platinum), India (double platinum) and Taiwan (gold). Enrique achieved gold or platinum status in an incredible 32 countries.


Its “Be With You” hit #1 pop in summer 2000 for three weeks and also #1 on Billboard’s Dance Club chart. After being seen by hundreds of millions during the 2000 Super Bowl halftime extravaganza, Iglesias followed with another world tour, playing venues in places as far-reaching as Turkey, Russia and the United Arab Emirates. An international artist who has recorded in four languages–Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and English–he was named both Favorite Latino Artist at the 2000 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards and Male International Artist of the Year at the CCTV-MTV Music Honors in Beijing, China.


His talent and looks have also forced Hollywood to pay attention. Enrique recently landed his first feature film role in Robert Rodriguez’ “Once Upon A Time In Mexico,” alongside Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek and Johnny Depp. The Miramax feature will be released in 2002. For this star who admits to being shy in private, music is indeed an escape. “What I want when I listen to music is what everyone wants–that it take me someplace else, make me happy or sad or remember a feeling. Music changes you.” And Enrique Iglesias just may change the borders people have put around pop music.