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Marc Anthony has sold over 11 million albums worldwide, making him one of the most influential artists of his time and a true ambassador of Latin music and culture.
He has been awarded countless Standard gold and platinum certifications from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The list of Grammy accolades began with a 1998 Grammy for Best Latin/Tropical Performance for “Contra La Corriente,” followed with a 1999 Grammy for Song of the Year for “Dimelo.”
Driven in part by the crossover success of his smash single “I Need to Know (Dimelo),” “Marc Anthony,” his English language debut album, helped usher in 1999's Latin pop explosion, and went on to achieve triple platinum status in the U.S. And, in 2005 Marc Anthony went home double fisted with a Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album of the Year for “Amar Sin Mentiras” and another Grammy for Best Tropical Album of the Year for “Valio la Pena.” He has won a total of 18 “Premio lo Nuestro” Awards throughout his career, the most won by any artist. His influence was significantly recognized when he was included in the Top 10 List of influential New Yorkers compiled by New York Magazine.
Marc has also established a highly credible acting résumé and may be seen in Martin Scorsese's “Bringing Out the Dead” (1999); opposite Selma Hayak in the Showtime original film, “In the Time of the Butterflies” (2001); and appears with Denzel Washington and Christopher Walken in director Tony Scott's “Man On Fire” (2004). He also appeared in the 1997 Paul Simon musical, “The Capeman.” Marc Anthony starred as the Puerto Rican salsa pioneer Héctor Lavoe, with Jennifer Lopez as Puchi, in the biopic, “El Cantante,” directed by Leon Ichaso. The Dolphins minority owner, was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute in Washington D.C. in September 2009.
May 2010 marks the release of his new production titled “Iconos” (Icons), an all ballad Spanish album produced by Marc Anthony and Julio Reyes including eight titles of his favorite balladeers and two original songs both written by Julio Reyes and Marc Anthony. These memorable songs turned into classics by artists such as: Juan Gabriel, José Luis Perales, José José, Roberto Carlos and La Mafia are born again, now in the incomparable emotion and unique style of Marc Anthony.
* Source www.marcanthonyonline.com
Maná is one of Mexico’s most prominent acts, as well as one of Latin America’s most renowned rock bands. Maná has achieved success not only in almost every Spanish speaking country, but also in several countries in Western Europe, Asia, The United States and Australia. Although the band has gone through some major lineup changes, the band has managed to stay as a quartet with the same members since 1995 – Fher Olvera on vocals, Alex González on drums, Sergio Vallín on the guitar, and Juan Calleros on the bass. Having sold a little over 22 million albums worldwide, the band is considered one of the biggest exponents in the Rock en Español world; not only have they achieved success in sales, but also several awards have recognized their achievement in the music industry.
The band was founded in Guadalajara, Jalisco in 1978, by Fher Olvera, Juan Calleros, and his two brothers (Ulises and Abraham). The band went by a different name back then, they were known as Green Hat, and they would later change their name to its Spanish translation, Sombrero Verde. The band’s sound seemed to be described as a fusion between Rock and Calypso; they are widely regarded as Latin America’s response to The Police. Sombrero Verde released three albums, their self-titled debut came out in 1981, and its follow up, called A Tiempo de Rock came out in 1983. In 1987 the band released their first record with PolyGram, entitled Maná; this album saw the departure of Abraham Calleros, and his replacement Alex González took responsibility behind the drums. After conflicting ideas with their label, dislike of the direction the band has headed and unsatisfactory results, the band switched labels to Warner Music as well as their name to Maná.
Their first production with their brand new name and under a new label came out in 1990, and it proved to be a success. The album was named Falta Amor, a key element in the exposure of the band outside of their native Mexico. The album’s success was due impart by the release of hit singles such as “Rayando el Sol”, “Buscandola”, and “Perdido en un Barco”. Falta Amor set Maná out to tour non-stop throughout Mexico and other countries in South America. Their follow-up album, ¿Donde Jugaran los Niños?, was and is still considered by many fans to be their masterpiece. It was released in 1992 and the band experienced once again a few lineup changes: Ulises Calleros (the band’s original guitarist) was replaced by César “Vampiro” López, and Iván González was added on keyboards. This album contained many of the hits that catapulted Maná into international fame and established them as one of the leading Latin Rock acts of the 90's. Some of the singles released include: "Oye Mi Amor", "¿Dónde Jugarán los Niños? “, "Vivir Sin Aire", "Te Llore un Río", and "De Pies a Cabeza". The album has sold six million copies worldwide, and upon its release, it peaked at #4 on Billboard's Top Latin Albums Chart. The same year Maná released their first-ever live album entitled Maná en Vivo. The double album includes material from performances at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, the Sports Arena in San Diego, the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, the Teatro Gran Rex in Buenos Aires, the Estadio de Chile in Santiago, and the Sala Estandard in Barcelona. Maná appeared as a trio on the cover (Olvera, González, and Calleros), but they were actually accompanied by Carlos Orozco on guitar, Sheila Ríos on vocals, and Juan Carlos Toribio on keyboards.
During the next year Maná released their fourth studio album, and it saw the final change to the lineup. Cuando los Ángeles Lloran was released in the spring of 1995 and saw the addition of Guadalajara native and guitarist Sergio Vallín. The album enjoyed some success (nothing like the previous release), and was nominated for a 1996 Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Performance. In 1997 Maná stationed at Puerta Azul studios in the city of Puerto Vallarta and recorded Sueños Liquidos, which granted the band heavy international attention, especially in Spain and the US, where the album sold over 500,000 copies; it also garnered Maná its first Grammy Award, for Best Latin Rock/Alternative Performance. The album spawned many more hit singles such as “Hechicera”, “Clavado en un Bar”, and “En el Muelle de San Blas” which instantly made the album another Maná classic. Towards the turn of the century, Maná teamed up with MTV Networks and recorded their Unplugged album, releasing it in the summer of 1999. Around the same time, Maná collaborated with Mexican native Carols Santana on his album Supernatural with the song “Corazón Espinado” – the album was a huge success and Maná’s collaboration was as well, especially in Spanish speaking countries.
Three year after the release of Sueños Liquidos, Maná released their sixth studio production, entitled Revolución de Amor in 2002. The album released three singles “Ángel de Amor”, “Eres Mi Religión”, and “Mariposa Traicionera”, as well as a tour that lasted a little bit over a year, and spanned through major cities in Latin America, the United States, Spain, France, and Germany. In 2003 the band releases a collection of greatest hits spanning their career; the collection was entitled Esenciales, and it came in the form of three separate CDs, entitles: Esenciales: Sol; Esenciales; Luna; Esenciales: Eclipse. In 2006 Maná released their seventh production, entitled Amar es Combatir. The album produced three Billboard Hot Latin Tracks number-one singles: “Bendita Tu Luz” (which featured Dominican singer Juan Luis Guerra), “Manda Una Señal”, and “Labios Compartidos” The album debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 chart and number one on the Billboard Top Rock Albums chart, selling nearly 87,000 copies in its first week of release in the United States. In 2008 Maná released its third live album entitled Arde el Cielo. The album was recorded during their Amar es Combatir Tour in two of four shows in San Juan, Puerto Rico at José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum on March 30 and 31, 2007. The band is scheduled to release their eight-studio album around spring of 2011, which will be entitled Drama y Luz.
Apart from being a group of successful and talented musicians, Maná is a very environmentally conscious band, as well as supporters of the Latin American nations and their growth for the better. Maná founded the Selva Negra foundation in 1995, which is responsible for taking care of wild life and vegetation in North and South America. They were also nominated and appointed FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) Ambassadors on October 16, 2003. In 2007 Maná openly supported the independence movement in Puerto Rico. The band has paid homage to some of Latin America’s best well-known humanitarians such as Chico Mendes and the EZLN (Ejercito Zapatista de Liberacion Nacional) movement.
Aventura is one of the most unique artists on the scene today. After well over a decade of sparring in the music business, these four young, dynamic guys with a seldom-seen chemistry continue to auto-produce soulful, original music that gleams with excellence. Their nouveau sound fuses bachata (a guitar-based Dominican folkloric music sometimes called the “Dominican blues”) with R & B, hip hop and other American pop and urban styles. Lead singer and songwriter Anthony “Romeo” Santos’ original songs are often deep, dealing with social issues. Even when they tackle timeless themes, such as romance and heartbreak, Romeo’s approach always comes from a different angle.
If Aventura fever in the US and Latin America is a phenomena, the band’s impact in Europe has been utterly astounding. For 16 straight weeks the single “Obsesion” charted number 1 in Italy; the album We Broke The Rules topped the charts for months as well. From there Aventura charted number one in Spain, Holland, Belgium, Austria, Greece, Slovenia, Romania among others. In France, 20 days after release 400,000 singles had been distributed with 139,000 CDs. In Germany, “Obsesion” by Aventura held the number one spot with more than 200,000 CDs sold, while a cover version of “Obsesion” by German pop group Third Wish, held the number two position. The song spread through Poland, Russia, Slovakia and Israel, to name a few. “Obsesion” had penetrated the mainstream European market to the point that the “Smurfs” in Germany and Spain have created a parody of the song for inclusion in a future “Smurfs” record release.
In April, 2005 Aventura released GOD’S PROJECT, its 4th studio production. It continues to be one of Sony’s most important sellers having sold in excess of 500,000; it remains number one in sales on the Billboard Tropical Chart and in the top ten in Latin Albums; it continues to chart in Billboard General Heatseekers in the top 15. Aventura’s fifth album KOB Live (Kings of Bachata) was released on 12/19/2006 and has sold 460,000 units as of May, 2008. The album is an elegant three disc project – two audio discs (containing 5 new studio songs, the best-of international performances and comedic skits by Aventura’s members) and a video component with excerpts from the sold-out concerts at Madison Square Garden and Altos de Chavon (La Romana, Dominican Republic) as well as the studio video “Los infieles” directed by Jessy Terrero and a pot-pourri of B-roll footage to delight fans).
In September, 2008 Aventura performed once again at the Madison Square Garden Arena together with mega-stars Marc Anthony and Alejandro Fernandez and capped off their fall program on a multi-city tour with Enrique Iglesias. The tickets recently went on sale for Aventura’s long-awaited Puerto Rican December 5th concert at El Coliseo, a 16,000 capacity venue. Within hours the date was sold out. Aventura beat the previous record held by the Rolling Stones – they sold 8,000. Eventually, the single concert became 5 dates at the Coliseo, all sold out.
On June 9th, 2009, under the auspices of Premium Latin Music/Sony BMG, The Last, Aventura’s 5th studio album, debuted at #5 on Billboard 200 and #1 across the board on Latin Charts, selling more than 47,000 units according to soundscan. Since the year 2003, Aventura has been a consistent award winner. However, 2008 was unprecedented because Aventura had not released a studio album since God’s Project in 2005. At Premium lo Nuestro 2008 the group took four awards: Album of the Year (KOB Live), Duo or Group, Song of the Year (“Mi corazoncito”), Tropical Artist. “Mi corazoncito” took Song of the Year and Tropical Airplay at the Billboard Awards. The band has been nominated in four categories for Premio la Juventud 2008: Voice of the Moment, Favorite Concert (KOB Live), Best Tropical Artist, Favorite Ringtone (“Un beso”). The members of Aventura are Romeo (lead singer and featured composer), Lenny Santos (musical producer and guitarist), Max “Mikey” Santos (bassist and rap artist) and Henry Santos Jeter (singer and composer).
Juan Esteban Aristizábal Vásquez was born in a town called Carolina del Principe, 63 miles north of Medellín - Juanes is a contraction from his first and middle name. Apart from being a world wide known singer and composer, he is a devout activist; living in Medellin in the 80s during Pablo Escobar's peak, a time of extreme violence, shaped Juanes' social consciousness at a very young age. His love for music came at a very young age, when his dad and his brothers taught him how to play guitar, at the age of seven. His passion for the electric guitar and hard rock acts led him to start a band with his friend Andrés Garcia. Juanes started his musical career at the young age of fifteen as the lead singer, rhythm guitarist, and main composer of the thrash metal band Ekhymosis. The band did respectively well in their native Colombia and went on to release five albums for the label Codiscos. After almost a decade of playing together, Ekhymosis disintegrated in 1999 and each member went on to pursue their own projects. Juanes moves to Los Angeles and this is where his solo career started (this is also where he took on the name Juanes for artistic purposes).
Juanes' solo career started with an EP he put out in December of 1999. The EP did not catch the attention of any major labels because it was a rock oriented album and could not be targeted to the audiences properly. The EP then came into the hands of Argentine producer Gustavo Santaolalla who saw great potential in the music and massive talent in Juanes' writing and performing skills. Juanes then signed to Universal Music Latin America in 2000, and together with Santaolalla went on to release his debut album entitled Fijate Bien. The album was released in the fall of 2000 and it spawned three singles: "Fijate Bien", "Podemos Hacernos Daño", and "Nada". The album was a huge success, earning Juanes the Latin Grammies for Best Rock Solo Vocal Album and Best New Artist. The follow-up, Un Dia Normal, also produced by Gustavo Santaolalla, was released in 2002 and was highly successful in Latin America. The album won six Latin Grammy Awards, one in 2002 for Best Rock Song ("A Dios le Pido") and five in 2003 for Album of the Year, Best Rock Solo Album, Song of the Year ("Es Por Ti"), Record of the Year ("Es Por Ti") and Best Rock Song ("Mala Gente"). Apart from having multiple Latin Grammy winning songs in the album, he had a duet with Nelly Furtado ("Fotografia"), which enjoyed heavy airplay in the Spanish-speaking market.
In 2004 Juanes released his third studio album, Mi Sangre. The album proved a huge success having sold more than 4 million copies worldwide, and releasing seven singles in a span of two years ("Nada Valgo Sin Tu Amor", "La Camisa Negra", " Volverte a Ver", "Para Tu Amor", "Lo Que Me Gusta a Mi", "Rosario Tijeras", and "No Siento Penas"). Because of it success the album was re-released several times as various limited editions: The Tour Edition (2005); Mexican 2CD Tour Edition (2005); European and Brazilian Tour Edition (2006); and the German Limited Edition (2006). In 2007, again with the help of two-time Academy Award-winning producer, Gustavo Santaolalla, Juanes released his fourth studio album – La Vida… Es Un Ratico. The album contains typical Colombian sounds, such as the Guasca, Vallenato, and Cumbia. La Vida… Es Un Ratico won the Latin Grammy Award for Album of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Album; and the lead single "Me Enamora" also received three awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Short Form Music Video. At the Grammy Awards ceremony of 2009 the album won Best Pop Latin Album. A year after La Vida… Es Un Ratico was released, Juanes released a live album composing songs recorded in the United States and Europe as part of his La Vida World Tour. For his latest studio production – P.A.R.C.E. – Juanes parted ways with Santaolalla and joined acclaimed producer Stephen Lipson in London. The album was released on December 7, 2010, and it has released two singles so far, "Yerbatero" and "Y No Regresas" (the first one was premiered and performed for the first time at FIFA's 2010 World Cup Kick-Off Concert at June 10, 2010, in Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg).
Juanes is one of the most influential figures in all of Latin America; him and Celia Cruz were the only Latin Americans in CNN's list of 20 Global Icons in Music Over the Past 50 Years (Juanes was the youngest of them all). He has been dubbed the King of the Latin Grammys by CBS (because of his 19 awards), and also many magazines refer to him as The Prince of Latin Pop (because of his success and humanitarian work). In 2006 he started the Fundación Mi Sangre – a foundation dedicated to alleviate the psychosocial impact on children and adolescents of anti-personal mines (APMs), unexploded ordnances (UXOs) and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). In 2008, he put together a show, Paz Sin Fronteras, at the Simon Bolivar Bridge (border-crossing) to release tension between Venezuela and Colombia; the lineup of the event included major acts such as Alejandro Sanz, Juan Fernando Velasco, Carlos Vives, Juan Luis Guerra, Miguel Bosé, y Ricardo Montaner. That same year Juanes was recognized as the recipient of The Organization of American States' first humanitarian award.
Camila is a Latin pop trio that began its career in 2006. Although they are considered a relatively new band, all three members have had some sort of experience in the music industry. Mario Domm is Camila's main composer. He has become one of the most prominent producers in Mexico, having worked with a variety of artists such as Kalimba, Reyli, Alejandra Guzmán, Paulina Rubio, Alejandro Fernández and Thalia. Before forming Camila, Domm released his first and only solo album Mexi-Funky-Music in 2002 through Sony Music. Samuel Parra started his vocal training as a member of his church's choir in Veracruz; he has worked as a backup singer for artists such as Yuri, Cristian Castro, and Reyli. And, Pablo Hurtado majored in Production and Audio Engineering at the Fermatta School of Music, located in Mexico City; he inherited his musical passion from his parents.
Camila's debut album was released in the spring of 2006, it was entitled Todo Cambió. The album was a commercial success and was able to spawn seven singles "Abrázame", "Coleccionista de Canciones", "Todo Cambió", "Sin Tu Amor", "Sólo Para Tí", "Yo Quiero" and "Me Da Igual") in the course of three years. The title track received many awards and nominations, including a Latin Grammy Award nomination for Song of the Year in 2007 and the Best Song award at the Premios Lo Nuestro 2008, where the band also won the Group or Duo of the year category. Their sophomore album was released four years after their first production. Dejarte de Amar hit the shelves on February 2010, and as it predecessor, it was deemed a success as well. The album spawned three singles ("Mientes", "Aléjate de Mi", and "Bésame"), all of which reached number-one on the Billboard Latin Pop Airplay chart. The album reached number-one on the Billboard Top Latin Albums and Latin Pop Albums in the United States and number-one on the Mexican Albums Chart. It received a Latin Grammy award for Best Pop Vocal Album by a Duo or Group and a nomination for Album of the Year. The lead single, "Mientes", received two Latin Grammy awards for Song of the Year and Record of the Year. The album is currently nominated a Lo Nuestro award for "Latin Pop Album of the Year".
Known worldwide as “La Luna de Mexico”, Ana Gabriel is a talented composer, writer, producer and singer whose story begins 35 years ago in her native Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. With more than 22 recorded albums under her wing, Ana has experimented with various types of genres; from romantic ballads in the mid 80’s to rock infused music in the 90’s, as well as the powerful and traditional Rancheras. Ana’s famous vocal range covers all spectrum of music.
Her utmost dedication to art brought popular hits like: “Pecado Original”, “Tierra de Nadie”, “Quien como Tu”. “Mi Mexico”, “Silueta”, “Luna”, “Ayer y Hoy”, “Vivencia” and “Huelo a Soledad”, included in her award wining albums in the United States and Latin America, just to name a few.
Her music has spread out through every country of the American continent, as well as European Union countries, such as: Spain, the Netherlands and Slovenia. Ana’s faith in God, love, and dedication to her audience has contributed to her successful career, and without a doubt this talented star will continue to shine for many more years to come.
ANA GABRIEL IN THE COMMUNITY
Ana Gabriel’s work does not stop with her music. Her philanthropy interests have taken her to discretely and silently work on many projects, which nowadays have become a reality for her and for many others. Participations include:
- Ana’s performance at US Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, for US Soldiers travelling to Iraq. - On more than one occasion Ana participated with The Stars Foundation taking part in benefit concerts throughout various US markets. The Stars Foundation works to improve the lives of disadvantaged children around the world.
- Ms. Gabriel has been very pleased to donate her time with pro-bono shows in Puerto Rico, collecting funds for “Casa Cuna”. Since the year 2005, this project offers housing, medical attention and education to abused and abandoned children. The Center also hosts children with severe Down syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis and MD.
- In 1992, her passion and devotion for children have served as inspiration for her song “Mirales, Escuchales”. This song was dedicated to those children unfortunate enough to have to live an unhappy life.
- With assistance from the Governor of Hermosillo, Mexico, Ms. Gabriel made possible the construction of a complex for disabled children. To date the project houses over two dozen children ages 1 to 15, who now have a roof, medical attention, education and proper care. Every year Ana Gabriel offers a concert in Hermosillo, proceeds are donated to the complex.
- In 2008, Ms. Gabriel was chosen by the Ecuador Special Olympics Committee to be the Godmother and National representative of the organization. The Special Olympics Association is a non-for-profit organization which concentrates on building schools for children with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and learning disabilities in general.
AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS
Billboard Latin Music Awards:
- 1981 – “Pop Album of the Year”, “Song of the Year” and “Female Artist of the Year”
- 1992 – “Regional Mexican Album of the Year”, “Regional Mexican Female Artist of The Year” “Pop Female Artist of the Year” and “Pop Song of the Year”
- 1993 – “Pop Female Artist of the Year”
- 1997 – “Regional Mexican Album of the Year”
- 2002 – “Billboard Latin Music Estrella Award”
Premio Lo Nuestro
- 1993 – Winner: “Best Latin Pop Album” – “Cosas del Amor” duet with Vicky Carr
- 2006 – Nomination: “Best Ranchero Album” – “Dos Amores y Un Amante” Nomination: “Best Regional Mexican Song” – “Sin Tu Amor”
Mexican performer Luis Miguel is an international star who is loved for both his well-produced albums and his strong live performances. Since 1990, he has been the most popular performer in Latin America. In the United States, he has become the only Latino artist to have two Spanish-language albums, Romance and Segundo Romance, go platinum. Both are comprised of tender romantic songs. In the U.S., Miguel has earned three Grammys. Segundo Romance won him one of them. It also earned Miguel a total of 34 platinum records throughout South and Central America in 1995. Follow-up releases included Musipistas and 1996's Nada Es Igual; Amarte Es un Place followed in 1999. Miguel's international stardom was heavily recognized in fall 2000 -- he won two Grammys (Male Pop Vocal Performance and Best Pop Album) for Amarte Es un Place at the first annual Latin Grammy Awards. Another accolade came in 2003, when he was nominated in the Favorite Latin Artist category of the American Music Awards. His 2004 album México el la Piel went on to sell three million copies worldwide and was followed by two years of touring.
Emotion, passion, creativity and an innate professionalism that has endured over the years; these are only a few of the words we can use to define the most important Latin artist of today: Marco Antonio Solís.
With a successful musical career of more than 30 years, Marco is in the midst of his best artistic moments; a multi Latin GRAMMY ® winner, and is one of the most influential Latin music singer/songwriters in the world.
As a singer, Marco has redefined the direction of Hispanic music throughout the world. As a composer, his songs are and have been part of the repertoire of important singers, regardless of musical genre. Marco Antonio Solís’ songs have been heard in the stylings of ranchero, cumbia, salsa, merengue, bolero, duranguense, and even reggaeton music, thus showing that music has no borders.
Success does not come easy, and it’s important to stress that Marco Antonio Solís is an exceptional human being, which, together with his talent, ends up being the perfect formula and one which very few artists have achieved. His creativity and musical intuition allow him to continue racking up hits, now with his new musical proposal, that is more pop than ever he aims to conquer even more fans worldwide. Once more Marco Antonio Solis demonstrates that his talent and versatility has no limit of musical genres.
After two years without an unreleased album and four years without releasing a pop production, Marco Antonio Solis gives us a new project produced by himself, and this time has the special participation of Juan Carlos Calderón in five songs the other five by Pablo Aguirre his longtime arranger.
The new album contains 10 completely unreleased songs, which follows the first single from singer-songwriter entitled “A Donde Vamos a Parar”, an extraordinary ballad with exceptional arrangements; fresh and modern touches which undoubtedly will become another classic within the Latin music.This spectacular production has songs full of emotion and feelings experienced by all human beings throughout their lives. Songs that allow you to be transported to different chapters and relive those important moments or experiences: dreams, passion, tranquility, feeling, disillusionment, pain, hope, and the strongest feeling of all, LOVE.
Marco Antonio Solís, also known as the “poet of the century,” once again shares with us his exceptional talent. His compositions transcend age and time. His lyrics are incomparable, full of magic that only he can express and give the perfect touch to create a true musical jewel.
MARCO ANTONIO SOLIS, as the initials of his name indicate in Spanish, is simply MORE (“MÁS”), in all realms of world music.
Alejandro Sanz is a singer-songwriter from Spain. He has a unique voice, which can be distinguished and recognized easily. Born Alejandro Sánchez Pizarro, his love for music begun at a very young age; he received his first guitar as a present from his parents when he was just a kid.
Alejandro's musical career started in 1989 with the release of his first album, a Flamenco-Techno album entitled Los Chulos Son Pa' Cuidarlos. The album is widely neglected in many discographies due to the fact that it was released under the name of Alejandro Magno, and not Alejandro Sanz; also, because it was released under the Spanish independent label Hispavox, and not a major label. In 1991, under contract with Warner Music Group, Alejandro released Viviendo Deprisa. It was a national success; not only because the music drifted towards commercial audiences, but also because of the help of producer Miguel Angel Arenas – who at the time was a music critic and gave the album astonishing reviews.
For his sophomore album (although in reality it was his third) he worked under the co-production of Miguel Angel Arenas and Nacho Mañó. The album was released in 1993, entitled Si Tú Me Miras; it includes two collaborations with the acclaimed flamenco guitarist, Paco de Lucía - the album is deemed to be one of Alejandro's personal favorites. In 1995 he released the album entitled 3, which was a success in Europe, and somehow, crossed across the Atlantic and became a success in Latin America as well. 3 was recorded and released in Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
In 1997 Alejandro Sanz released his best selling album up to date, Más, under the same label (Warner) and the production team as 3 (Miguel Angel Arenas and Emanuele Ruffinengo). Más went on to become Spain's best selling album, grossing over five million copies worldwide. The album included seven singles that were released in a lapse of two years: "Y"; "¿Si Fuera Ella?"; "Corazón Partío"; "Amiga Mía"; "Hoy Que No Estás"; "Si Hay Dios..."; "Aquello Que Me Diste"; and "Ese Último Momento". In 2000, Alejandro released El Alma Al Aire, which went on to sell a little bit over two million copies worldwide. In 2001, already established as a platinum recording artist, Alejandro performed an unplugged concert for MTV networks. The concert was held in Miami, Florida, and acclaimed Chilean producer, Humberto Gatica, produced it. Alejandro went on to collect three Latin Grammys for his Unplugged album and four for El Alma al Aire.
In 2003, Alejandro released No es lo Mismo, which attained him the Grammy for best Pop Latin album: the album was produced by Cuban musician Lulo Pérez, and released three singles in a course of two years. A year after the release of No es lo Mismo, Alejandro released his first ever compilation album, entitled Grandes Éxitos 91-04. The album consisted of two CDs, the first one comprising hits from 1991 up to 1996, and the second one comprising hits from 1997 up to 2004. A Digipack version of the album was also released, and it contained an extra CD entitled Rarezas (Rarities); this CD includes demos, duets (Armando Manzanero, Niña Pastori, and The Corrs, among others), and unpublished material from Alejandro. In 2005, the Spanish singer-songwriter collaborated with Shakira on her album Fijación Oral; the single was "La Tortura" – considered t be the biggest-selling Spanish language track of the decade, with sales of over 5 million copies worldwide, and 804,000 digital downloads in the United States alone.
In 2006, Alejandro released his seventh album with Lulo Pérez again. El Tren de los Momentos awarded Alejandro the Best Latin Pop Album once again, at the 50th Grammy Awards ceremony. Alejandro performed a duet for the second time with Shakira, on the single "Te lo Agradesco, Pero No", which peaked at #1 on the Billboard Latin songs chart. A year later, Alejandro released a live album from El Tren de los Momentos Tour. The entire footage was shot at the River Plate Stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina; the album comprises a CD and a DVD. Alejandro's latest production was released worldwide in the fall of 2009, this time the album was produced by the acclaimed Puerto Rican Tommy Torres - the album was entitled Paraíso Express. The first single off of the album was a duet with Alicia Keys entitled "Looking for Paradise", which was a success in the Billboard charts, debuting at #10 on the Latin Pop Songs, and peaking into #1 on the week of November 14, 2009. The second single "Desde Cuándo", did not do as well in the chart, but the video received heavy rotation – it featured actress Eva Longoria.
Over the course of her career, Grammy winner Shakira has sold close to fifty million albums. Her collaborations with such stars as Beyonce and Alejandro Sanz have helped keep her audience expanding continually. She is the only artist from South America to have a Number One song in the US, and her performance was a highlight of the 2009 concert celebrating President Obama's inauguration. She has four of the twenty top-selling hits of the decade, more than any other artist—including 2006's unforgettable "Hips Don't Lie," the biggest-selling single of the 21st Century, which reached the Number One spot in an astonishing 55 countries.
“Waka Waka (This Time for Africa),” along with its Spanish language version, "Waka Waka (Esto es África)," was yet another worldwide sensation. It sold over two million singles, making it the biggest World Cup song ever released. The official video has seen over 200 million YouTube hits, making it the Number Four most watched video of all time and the Number Three most watched music video. Including unofficial "Waka Waka" videos, the total cumulative views are over 400 million. The track was also the soundtrack to Shakira's 1Goal campaign for universal education.
The response to the song revitalized Shakira, and inspired both the direction of Sale El Sol and the plans for her recently launched world tour. "When I flew to South Africa, I never received so many hugs and kisses," she says. "In the airport, all the immigration officers were dancing the 'Waka Waka' dance! I was already missing the contact with fans, and that showed me the path so I could finish the album with all my energy and joy."
For Shakira, the title of the new album provides the key to her current outlook. "I was a little bit down at the end of last year, but as soon as this year started, the sun started shining for me," she says. "I find myself smiling more often, I feel more free and liberated.
"You go through difficult moments, everybody does, but there’s always the sun inside of us that never extinguishes, and it has come out for me. And, hopefully, it will be a long day in the sun."
This sense of artistic exploration is no surprise coming from a woman who began writing songs at the age of eight; learned to speak English by studying the work of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and Walt Whitman; and took history classes at UCLA during her break between albums. The compassionate side of Shakira is most obvious in the remarkable work of her Pies Descalzos (Barefoot) Foundation, which she started at the age of 18 and has now opened its sixth school. The foundation currently provides education and nutrition to over six thousand impoverished children in Colombia and is expanding its work to other countries, including newly launched projects in Haiti and South Africa.
* Source www.shakira.com
Known as Latin America's Bob Dylan, Guatemalan singer and songwriter Ricardo Arjona, like his famous American counterpart, is known around the world for his socially conscious and heartfelt folk ballads and rock tunes. Playing in a variety of styles that combine traditional South American folk music with rock, hip-hop, and classical music, Arjona sings about subjects ranging from faded love to social inequities.
Arjona grew up in Antigua, Guatemala, where he first heard the music of the Beatles, Jose Alfredo Jimenez, and Armando Manzanero. This broad range of musical styles greatly informed the work of his later career. Arjona's father taught him to play guitar when he was seven years old; by the time he was eight Arjona was writing his own songs, because playing his own music was a much more powerful experience for him than playing music written by others. The shy Arjona also found that he could interact with people in social situations much more easily through music than through conversation.
A life in music was not his first choice, however. He'd considered becoming a schoolteacher in rural Guatemala, and his varied interests also led him to sports; for a time he played basketball with Guatemala's national team. Music was always a grounding point for him, however, and he continued to play and write during his spare time no matter what else he did for a living.
Arjona's interest in social movements began during his college years, when Guatemala was ruled by a military dictatorship. He also developed an early aversion to Catholicism as it was the religion practiced by the nuns who ran the elementary school he attended, and his feelings in this regard later found their way into his music. His criticisms of Catholicism have not always been well received in the devoutly Catholic countries in which he has made his home, including Guatemala and Mexico.
After exploring other career choices, Arjona decided to become a professional musician, and he moved to Mexico City to pursue the greater opportunities available there. While seeking a recording contract he played in festivals and began to establish a reputation as a musical voice for various social causes.
His move to Mexico City paid off when he landed a contract with the PolyGram label. Soon afterward the label released his first album, Dejame Decir que Te Amo (Let Me Say I Love You) in 1988. The label, trying to avoid controversy, played down Arjona's political and social leanings, marketing him as primarily a singer of love songs. Arjona tried to fit this image, but it was only one part of the complex musical makeup that later made him popular with millions of fans. The album did not sell well, and PolyGram subsequently dropped Arjona.
For the next five years, Arjona worked in relative obscurity, teaching and writing music for other artists. For a time he worked as a production assistant to music producer Marco Flores and, as part of his work, traveled extensively between Mexico City and the Texas cities of San Antonio and Dallas.
Finally, after a move to Buenos Aires, Argentina, Arjona began to record again, focusing on material that was closest to his heart--songs of protest. By now, music of this type was deemed to have broader commercial appeal, and he landed a contract with Sony. This relationship proved more fruitful than the one he'd had with PolyGram. Arjona released his first album with Sony, Animal Nocturno, in 1993, and it became a critical and popular success.
Sony has since released new albums by Arjona every year or two throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s. His work has found widespread popularity among Spanish-speaking audiences around the world. His album Animal Nocturno landed on the Billboard Latin pop charts in 1993, where he has appeared regularly since, hitting the number-one position in 2000 with Galeria Caribe.
Arjona has described danger as the spice that makes his life and his music interesting. "An excess of tranquility and peace can be your enemy if you're trying to write," he told Burr. Accordingly, after living for a time in Miami, Florida, Arjona moved back to Mexico City, where, he said, the danger of living in one of the world's most densely populated cities inspired him to write better music.
In 2002 Arjona released Santo Pecado, a highly personal effort that chronicled, among other things, his breakup with his wife of 12 years. The album, described by Burr as containing Arjona's "trademark mix of poetry and narcissism," features Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, Neil Stubehhaus playing bass, Michael Landau and George Doering playing guitars, and Carlos "Junior" Cabral on piano.
Most important to him is creating music that speaks from the heart.
* credit www.musicianguide.com
More than just the undisputed king of Mexico's traditional ranchera music, Vicente Fernández -- "El Idolo de Mexico" -- is one of that country's most recognizable and influential cultural icons. Since his emergence in the mid-'60s, Fernández's popularity has escalated to the point that his status among Mexicans and Mexican-Americans has been likened to that of Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley in the United States. His concerts both in Mexico and the U.S. routinely sell out despite a near-total dearth of non-Latino media coverage, and his 100-plus albums have reportedly sold in excess of 50 million copies. Fernández has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, has been nominated for Grammy Awards, and has collected a number of honors, including being named Person of the Year by the Latin Recording Academy in 2002 and garnering membership in the International Latin Music Hall of Fame. With his supersized sombreros, prominent black mustache, and eye-popping costumes, and an orchestra overpopulated with horns and strings players in glittery, matching mariachi outfits, the glitzy Fernández on-stage is an imposing, larger-than-life figure. Matching his visual presentation is an operatic voice that plumbs the depths of the emotional spectrum to connect on an intimate level with his audience, which relates to the singer's humble beginnings and everyman song lyrics.
Vicente Fernández Gomez was born February 17, 1940, in Huentitan del Alto, Jalisco, Mexico. His youth was marked by struggle. Forced to drop out of school in the fifth grade to help support his family, he held a number of odd jobs. He began to sing and play guitar at age eight and won amateur contests almost from the start. Fernández lore claims that he would go to Guadalajara, where he would stop cars and offer to sing for the drivers for a few pesos. By the early '60s, he had turned semi-professional, singing with local mariachi bands. Moving to Mexico City, he joined Pepe Mendoza's band, Amanecer, and then the band led by José Luis Aguilar. In Mexico City, Fernández was regularly rejected by record labels, but he was finally noticed by CBS Mexico in 1966. His career did not take off quickly. Although he managed to sell modest quantities of albums and singles, began appearing in Mexican films (he has been in more than 25 to date), and logged such hit singles as "Tu Camino y el Mio" and "Cantina del Barrio," it wasn't until 1976, ten years into his recording career, that Fernández truly began his ascent to the top. "Volver, Volver," a ranchera written by Fernando Z. Maldonado, became a massive hit, its lyrics of forgiveness in a relationship touching a nerve among listeners. The song established Fernández not only in his home country but among other Spanish-speaking populations, including the millions of Mexican-Americans in the United States. Many Mexican music groups covered the song when they performed live. From that point on, Fernández could seemingly do no wrong. His every single and album was a hit, and the public adored him. He became the first performer to sell out Mexico's Plaza de Toros bullfighting stadium, singing to over 50,000 fans. In the U.S., he has sold out such large-capacity venues as New York's Madison Square Garden, where he once shared a bill with his son, Alejandro Fernández, himself a major singing star.