Enrique Iglesias. 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.
MOVED TO THE U.S.: At the age of 8 CAR: RED
CURRENTLY LIVES IN: MIAMI, FLORIDA BIRTHDATE: May 8, 1975
HEIGHT: 63 WEIGHT: 187 lbs. PETS: DOG NAMED SPEED
BROTHERS: Julio Jose, Michael Alexander SISTERA: Chabeli,Tamara,
SHOE SIZE: 10 FAVORITE BOOK: OBSESSION DEFETS: Messy and never
sticks to schedules NEVER MISSING FROM HIS NIGHTSTAND: A CROSS
AND WATER HE WILL NEVER: Damage or pose nude (sorry to inform
you) HE DISLIKES ABOUT HIS BODY: He thinks he legs are too skinny
HIS BEST FEATURE: He would never change his stare THINGS THAT
IRRITATE HIM: Lies KEEPS HIM FROM SLEEPING Knowing that he has
to wake up early to work PERFECT IDEA OF HAPPINESS: Being with
whoever you want, being where ever you want, and doing whatever
FAVORITE MUSICAL GROUPS: ALL GROUPS FROM THE 80 S
FAVORITE SINGER: ALL SINGERS FAVORITE FAIRY TALE: PINOCHIO FAVORITE
BOOK: "THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA" FAVORITE AUTHOR: ERNEST
HEMMINGWAY FAVORITE CARTOONS: BUGS BUNNY FAVORITE TV PROGRAM:
FAVORITE ACTOR: ANTHONY HOPKINS & KEANU REEVES FAVORITE
ACTRESS: MERYL STREEP FAVORITE MOVIE: "RAIDERS OF THE LOST
ARK" FAVORITE COLOR: BLACK, WHITE, GREY & RED FAVORITE
SONGS: THEY CHANGE EVERYDAY FAVORITE CD S: "THE ONES ON
TOP OF MY NIGHT TABLE." FAVORITE MAGAZINE: BILLBOARD FAVORITE
AMUSEMENT PARK RIDE: NATURE FAVORITE SPORT: SOCCER FAVORITE
HOLIDAY: CHRISTMAS FAVORITE CAR: JEEP FAVORITE HOBBIES: LISTENING
TO MUSIC, GOING TO THE MOVIES, LEARNING ABOUT AVIATION FAVORITE
CITY: MADRID, MIAMI, MEXICO CITY, BUENOS AIRES FAVORITE MONTH:
MAY FAVORITE DAY OF THE WEEK: FRIDAY FAVORITE TIME OF DAY: 7:00PM
FAVORITE SOFT-DRINK: COCA COLA FAVORITE JUNK FOOD: PIZZA FAVORITE
FRUIT: SPANISH MELON FAVORITE FAST-FOOD RESTAURANT: BURGER KING
& McDONALDS FAVORITE RESTAURANT: RUTH CRIS STEAK HOUSE FAVORITE
FOOD: SUSHI FAVORITE SEAFOOD: OYSTERS & FRIED CALAMARI FAVORITE
VEGETABLE: LETTUCE MISC... LOVES WATER SPORTS NEVER USES A WATCH
Doesnt carry more than $20 on him Every night he says
his prayers Studied business administration before singing Sleeps
with a pillow between his legs Doesn't wear cologne If he could
have been a hero, he would have loved to be Superman Loves to
play jokes He loves it when you caress his neck and hair Brushes
his teeth five times a day