Though he began riding a wave of popularity among Latin recording artists in the United States in the late 1990s, Marc Anthony has been a mainstay in the salsa genre for years. By blending in pop and spicing up his songs with a healthy dose of romance, he had been a star in Spanish-speaking areas long before the release of his English-language salsa album, Marc Anthony, hit the shelves in 1999. His slightly smoky tenor is lush and expressive, and he has been known to start crying on stage during love songs. Women swoon and throw undergarments on stage during his concerts, and his balladeering style has earned him comparisons to Frank Sinatra. In 1998, before Ricky Martin had burst on the scene, Anthony took home the Grammy Award for best tropical Latin performance, for his 1997 album Contra la Corriente. A second Grammy win came in 2000 for Song of the Year for “Dímelo (I Need to Know)” from Marc Anthony at the first annual Latin Grammy Awards. The singer has started drawing raves for his acting talents as well, most notably with a turn as a deranged transient man in 1999’s Bringing Out the Dead.
Anthony was born Marco Antonio Muniz on September 16, 1969, in New York City. He was raised in Spanish Harlem, the youngest of five boys and three girls. His father, Felipe, worked in a hospital lunchroom, and Guillermina (“Jenny”), was a homemaker. They are now divorced. Anthony was exposed to jibaro music and salsa beginning at a tender age. His father had moved from Puerto Rico in the 1950s and played guitar; he also enjoyed listening to Ruben Blades, Hector Lavoe, and Willie Colon. Anthony would climb up on the kitchen table and sing along during his dad’s jam sessions. By the time he was three, he was able to draw tears from female family members with his soulful renditions.
When Anthony was six or seven, he sang “El Zolsar” at a social club where his father was playing, and a man gave his mother a dollar, telling her that her child would make it big someday. It was the first money Anthony ever earned for his talent. However, like many children, Anthony considered his parents’ music and the Latin image uncool. “I couldn’t relate to the suits, the chains and the pinky rings, so it didn’t interest me,” he remarked to Cristina Veran in Newsday. Instead, he started getting into rock and roll, rap, and dance music. “I was raised in New York during the Seventies and Eighties,” he mentioned to Clark Collis in the Daily Telegraph. “So I was exposed to everything. Jimi Hendrix. Motown. Disco. Salsa. You name it.” He has also claimed the light-as-their-name pop group Air Supply as an influence.
At age 12, Anthony and his sister began singing background vocals for commercials, including one for Bumble Bee tuna. At 15, he was a water boy for one of his idols, Ruben Blades. “I used to pray for him to be thirsty, just to be onstage,” Anthony reminisced to
Born Marco Antonio Muniz on September 16, 1969, in New York, NY; son of Felipe (a lunchroom worker and guitarist) and Guillermina (a homemaker) Muniz; married Dayanara Torres, May 9, 2000; children: Arianna (with Debbie Rosado) and Cristain (with Torres).
Wrote songs and sang backup for Sa-Fire, The Latin Rascals, and Menudo; released debut album, When the Night Is Over, Atlantic Records, 1991; released Grammy Award-winning Contra la Corriente, 1997; released Marc Anthony, 1999; stage appearances include Capeman, New York City, 1998; film appearances include Natural Causes, 1994; Hackers, 1995; Big Night, 1996; The Substitute, 1996; and Bringing Out the Dead, 1999.
Awards: Billboard Award, Best New Artist, 1994; Grammy Award, Best Tropical Latin Performance for Contra la Corriente, 1998; Latin Grammy Award, Song of the Year for “Dimelo (I Need to Know),” 2000; Tu Musica Award for Best Tropical Album of the Year for Todo a su Tiempo; Lo Nuestra Award, Ace Award, Diplo Award (Puerto Rico).
Addresses: Record company —Columbia Records, 550 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10022, phone: (212) 833-5212, website: http://www.columbiarecords.com. Office —Marc Anthony Productions, 1385 York Ave., Ste. 6F, New York, NY 10021. Website— Marc Anthony Official Website: http://www.marcanthonyonline.com.
Collis in the Daily Telegraph. By high school, Anthony was writing music, which caught the attention of the dance-pop singer Sa-Fire. He ended up penning two songs, “You Said You Love Me” and “I Better Be the Only One,” for her album, as well as singing backup. Another single he wrote, “Boy I’ve Been Told,” became a Top 40 hit. He went on to sing background for The Latin Rascals, who worked with Little Louis Vega. In the meantime, Anthony was also writing songs in both English and Spanish for Menudo, as well as serving as a backup singer and vocal coach for them.
In the early 1990s, Vega became a producer for Atlantic Records and asked Anthony to sing for him. He recorded a dance album in English, When the Night Is Over, and had a number one Billboard dance hit with “Ride on the Rhythm,” but failed to make waves beyond that. Though he was performing house music at clubs in New York City, he found it encouraging if audiences numbered even in the triple digits. Then he and Vega opened for Tito Puente at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Anthony’s manager subsequently prodded him to begin recording salsa music, but he resisted. Not long after that, though, he was listening to the radio and heard the Juan Gabriel ballad, “Hasta Que Te Conocí” (“Until I Met You”). Inspired, he came up with an upbeat salsa version of the tune, and it became his ticket to stardom.
In 1993, Anthony released his first salsa album, Otra Nota, on Soho Latino/RMM Records. Soon, his manager sent him to perform at Radio y Musica, a Latin-music convention in Los Angeles. Most of the attendees were disc jockeys. Highly intimidated and wearing borrowed clothes because his financial situation was tight, he sang a song backed only by instrumentals from a DAT player. He recalled to Alec Wilkinson in the New Yorker, “I’m trembling up a storm…. I walk up to the mike and think, ‘Make believe you’re in your living room singing to your mom.’” Afterward, he darted off the stage so fast that until his manager grabbed him, he did not notice he was getting a standing ovation. He told Wilkinson that he then heard disc jockeys making calls, saying, “Find this kid’s CD. I threw it out this morning—it’s in the trash. Find it and play it.”
Later that same day, Anthony was booked on a Spanish-language television program called Carnaval Internacional, which is broadcast internationally. “That changed my life forever,” he stated to Wilkinson, adding, “It seemed like years before I was ever in New York again.” He began to tour constantly, playing Puerto Rico, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, even Tokyo. Some traditionalists disliked his romantic take on salsa and dismissed it an inauthentic, but many critics delivered accolades. He also won support from fellow musicians like Blades and Placido Domingo, who began to call and ask about doing projects together.
In 1995, Anthony followed up with Todo a Su Tiempo (“All in Due Time”). Touring to promote the work, he spent 50 weeks on the road. Though his energy level on stage is cranked up as he struts through his dance moves, unlike salsa stars of old, Anthony projects a more down-to-earth appearance, favoring simple apparel in lieu of the “hot Latin lover” image with sleek suits and slick hair. “It is an appeal that is real, accessible and trustworthy,” observed Veran in Newsday. Anthony in 1996 was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1996 for Todo a Su Tiempo, sharing the category with three of his idols—Blades, Colon, and Celia Cruz.
As his music career was reaching new heights, Anthony was gearing up an acting career as well. He made his debut in 1995’s Hackers, playing a Secret Service agent in a thriller about cybersleuths trying to foil an evil genius planning to unleash a crippling computer virus. The next year, he was cast as a waiter in Big Night, starring Minnie Driver, Isabella Rossellini, and Stanley Tucci, about a family trying to save their Italian restaurant. He also had a minor role as a high school gang member in The Substitute that same year.
Anthony’s next album, Contra la Corriente (“Against the Current”) came out in fall of 1997. But he did not have the opportunity to embark on a promotional tour, because he had been cast in Paul Simon’s Capeman, which opened on Broadway in early 1998. This turned out to be a boon, though, when Anthony’s new manager, Bigram Zayas—also his half-brother and best friend—suggested he play an “Off to Broadway” mega-concert at Madison Square Garden. Though no salsa solo act had ever headlined there, Anthony sold out two concerts at the venue. He then took the stage in Capeman, a musical about a murder case. In it, he played teenager Salvador Algron, a Puerto Rican who killed two other teens in a New York park in 1959 after a gang misunderstanding. Blades, incidentally, portrayed the killer as an older man. Although Capeman was praised for its song sequences and Anthony was applauded for his vocal talents, the play closed after two months.
By this time, Anthony was so famous that an architect refused payment for his work in building a home in Puerto Rico for the singer, claiming that working for him was payment enough, as Wilkinson reported in the New Yorker. In fact, he is something of a saint in Puerto Rico for committing to build 100 homes for families displaced by Hurricane Georges. In addition, he sold out a 60, 000-seat stadium in Colombia, and is popular throughout Europe, Japan, and Central America as well. He became so well-known in Spanish-speaking areas that he needs escorts to accompany him, and he became the only salsa singer with a gold album in America.
However, Anthony did not get major crossover exposure until fellow Latin crooner Ricky Martin hit the scene and reached number one on the pop charts with his first all-English release. In addition, Jennifer Lopez—with whom he recorded the radio hit “No Me Ames”—was beginning to attract attention as well. Around that time, amid disputes with music mogul Ralph Mercado—with whom he had signed a contract in 1992—Anthony managed to cut his own English album as well, the first since his 1991 dance effort. He signed a deal with Columbia Records estimated to be worth more than $30 million, and in 1999 released Marc Anthony. Featuring Latin-tinged pop tunes, it spawned the top ten hit “I Need to Know.” But he bristled at the term “crossover,” explaining to Chris Willman in Entertainment Weekly, “I started out singing in English, so what am I crossing over to? That makes it sound like I’m trying my hand at someone else’s music. But I’m just as American as I am Puerto Rican. This is my music as much as anybody else’s.”
Also in 1999, Anthony was seen in his biggest film role to date, playing the erratic homeless man Noel in Martin Scorsese’s Bringing Out the Dead. Though the film stars Nicolas Cage as a troubled New York City ambulance driver, Noel is the centerpiece of the tale. Disheveled and dreadlocked, the character of Noel provides “sort of the backbone of the morality of the story,” according to Scorsese in a People article. “Ultimately the whole film comes together around him.” Critics were receptive to his wild and violent performance, which countered his usual persona of the sensitive, sensual singer.
Though Anthony had been linked with various starlets—including Lopez and actress Mira Sorvino—he announced his engagement to Dayanara Torres, a former Miss Universe, in October of 1999. The couple married in Las Vegas, Nevada, on May 9, 2000. From a previous relationship with police officer Debbie Rosado, which ended in 1995, he has a daughter, Arianna. Anthony and Torres had a son, Cristian Anthony Muiz, on February 5, 2001. Anthony, who favors wearing Prada designs, is about five feet, eight inches tall, with a slender build, black hair, jutting cheekbones, and a strong jaw. He told Mim Udovitch in Rolling Stone that he is the tallest in his family, and revealed, “My father is five feet two and weighs, like, 100 pounds wet.”
Although People en Espanol magazine once named Anthony one of the most beautiful people alive, he was not always such a looker. As he mentioned to Dennis Hensley in Cosmopolitan, “I was ugly and skinny growing up, and one time my dad said, ‘You look like me, so you better work on your personality.’” His fame and accolades apparently have not affected his ego. As he told Udovitch, “I don’t need other people to validate me. I’m pretty hard on myself, so if I feel good, then I know there’s something to feel good about.”
When the Night Is Over, Atlantic, 1991.
Otra Nota, Soho Latino/RMM, 1993.
Todo a Su Tiempo, Soho Latino/RMM, 1995.
(Contributor) Carlito’s Way (soundtrack), EMI Latin, 1996.
Contra la Corriente, RMM, 1997.
(Contributor) Mask of Zorro (soundtrack), Sony, 1998.
Desde un Principio, Sony, 1999.
Marc Anthony, Columbia, 1999.
(Contributor) Runaway Bride (soundtrack), Sony, 1999.
Contemporary Musicians, volume 19, Gale Research, 1997.
Cosmopolitan, February 2000, p. 204.
Daily Telegraph, January 6, 2000, p. 25.
Entertainment Weekly, October 8, 1999, p. 32.
Interview, February 1999, p. 84.
Latin Beat, December 1997, p. 40.
Newsday July 20, 1995, p. B3; June 13, 1999, p. D10.
New Yorker, December 8, 1997, p. 96.
New York Times Magazine, August 29, 1999, p. 42.
People, October 4, 1999, p. 45; December 13, 1999, p. 185; May 29, 2000, p. 147.
Rolling Stone, April 27, 2000, p. 33.
Time, September 20, 1999, p. 80.
TV Guide, February 12, 2000, p. 46.
Variety, February 2, 1998, p. 39.
Marc Anthony Official Website, http://www.marcanthonyonline.com (June 21, 2001).
“Marc Anthony,” Internet Movie Database, http://us.imdb.com (June 21, 2001).
The Recording Academy, http://www.grammy.com (June 21, 2001).
Marc Anthony is Ana vocalist whose contemporary version of salsa has been embraced internationally by Latino audiences and criticized as controversial by old school music critics. Not even thirty years old, Anthony has reached more lofty goals than many accomplish in the course of their entire careers. “I was born to be a singer, it has never been a question for me,” he told The Globe. In addition to his many recording credits, Anthony has appeared in several films.
Marc Anthony attributes much of his own unique style to a diverse musical upbringing. He was born in 1969, Antonio Marco Muniz, to Puerto Rican guitarist Felipe Muniz and his wife. Raised in the tough neighborhood of East Harlem, New York Anthony was exposed to two competing musical worlds; the street sounds heard on the sidewalks of his neighborhood and the authentic Puerto Rican jibaro music generating from his father’s Friday Night Jam Sessions. Jibaro music is the prominent music of Puerto Rico defined by the “le lo lai” of the vocalist. As he elaborated in the February 1996 issue of GTTV, “I would walk down third avenue and out of one window I could hear Ruben Blades’ music, while Gloria Gaynor came blasting out another and Doobie Brothers sounds from the window of a passing car’s stereo. But to be honest with you, I never liked salsa because it didn’t cater to the younger generation. And I couldn’t relate to it. I thought it was uncool.” Like many rebellious youngsters Anthony did not appreciate his parents’ tastes until much later in his life. However, at a very young age Anthony was taught music and composition by his father probably influencing his decision to pursue a career in music. While his childhood home was suffused with the background soundtrack of Ruben Blades, Hector Lavoe, and Willie Colon, Anthony credits his most relevant musical influences growing up as Air Supply and Puerto Rican superstar Jose Feliciano.
At age 12, Marc and his sister were discovered by commercial producer David Harris, in the midst of belting out the Mickey Mouse theme. They were used almost exclusively by Harris for quite sometime, providing background vocals for his productions and commercials. Ever since that fortunate break, Anthony’s career has been on the upswing.
While still in school, Anthony began writing songs. One of his compositions “Boy I’ve Been Told” caught the ear of his good friend and singer Sa-Fire. Anthony ended up recording background vocals for the dance siren’s entire album, as well as writing “You Said You Love Me” and “I Better be the Only One.” The single “Boy I’ve Been Told” went on to became a top-40 hit. During his teens, Anthony also worked with groups such as the Latin Rascals as well as Menudo.
With his interests moving toward club hip-hop and dance music, Anthony was fortunate enough to team up with DJ and producer Little Louie Vega who is described by Rebecca Mann of the Latin Times Magazine as “the nicest most talented star maker in New York.” Though Vega and Anthony had been acquainted though the New York Club scene for years, it wasn’t until a low-budget movie East Side Story that their professional paths finally crossed. Vega had written the score for the filmin which Anthony sang and had the main role. Louie impressed and delighted by Anthony’s abilities, asked if he would considerforming a partnership. Anthony agreed and the result was his first album When the Night is Over ( Atlantic Records) produced by Vegaand including appearances by India and the legendary Tito Puente. A showy single from the record, “Ride on the Rhythm” reached number one on the Billboard dance chart.
Ambitious and driven, Marc Anthony created a series of far-fetched goals for himself. Before the age of 35, he wanted to sing at Madison Square Garden, perform at Carnegie Hall, and to have a number one record. With the fiery success of the dance smash “Ride on the Rhythm,” Anthony managed to achieve one his coveted goals before even reaching legal drinking age. At this point in his career he was a champion of the urban dance music
For the Record…
Born Marco Antonio Muniz, September 16, 1969 in New York, NY; son of Felipe Muniz, Puerto Rican jibaro guitarist; single; one child: Arianna
Marc Anthony was discovered at age 12 by commercial producer David Harris; as a teenager, he wrote songs and performed with Sa-fire, The Latin Rascals, and Menudo; at age 19, opened for Danny Rivera at Carnegie Hall; opened for Tito Puente’s 100th Album celebration at Madison Square Garden November 22, 1991. Released his debut album When the Night is Over (Atlantic Records) in 1991. Single “Ride on the Rhythm” reached number one on Billboard magazine’s dance singles chart; appeared in the MGM film Hackers, 1995.
Awards: Billboard Award, Best New Artist of the Year, 1994; Todo a su Tiempo, Tu Musica Award Best Tropical Album of the Year, Quadruple Platinum; Otra Nota -Double Platinum, 1994 Lo Nuestro Award, Ace Award, Diplo Award in Puerto Rico.
Addresses: Office —Marc Anthony Productions, 1385 York Avenue, Suite 6F, New York, NY 10021; phone: (212)396-0963
known as “freestyle” which basically is an ethnic combination of hip-hop and disco. Even though he was inherently proud of his heritage, the musician was not yet associated with the salsa music for which he became celebrated. At age 19, Anthony achieved the second of his desired goals when he participated at a Carnegie Hall concert with vocalist Danny Rivera. The third and most notable of success was accomplished on November 22, 1991 when he opened the tribute to jazz legend Tito Puente at Madison Square Garden on the occasion of his 100th album.
Upon achieving his aspirations, Anthony, still incredibly young and feeling invincible, began searching for a new path. The next road for the musician was paved by his friend and manager David Maldonado and Ralph Mercado(the president of Soho Latino/RMM records). The pair offered him and other artists such as India, who shared a similar musical background, the opportunity to cross over, to record a salsa record for the Soho Latino label. Anthony considered the record offer, thought it an interesting opportunity, and agreed. The successful vocalist was also interested in the opportunity to work with RMM main producer Sergio George. George and Anthony both were fans of each other’s work. Atthetime, Anthony was being mentally revisited by the sounds of his parents’ homeland and finally he was inspired by the music he had rejected as a child. He was elated when the legendary Tito Puente jumped on-stage with him at a Ne York Palladium performance, and through personal contacts he was happy to be able to land a gig as a “water boy” for legendary Ruben Blades. In this very glamourless position Anthony would run to obediently greet Blades with water should the star’s thirst present a need. In an ironic twist of fate through the course of his career, his relationship with Blades has developed from idolworship, to being a colleague, and finally culminating in a friendship.
The highly praised first salsa album by Marc Anthony was entitled Otra Nota. The record, sung entirely in Spanish, contains compelling versions of songs by musicians Jan Gabriel and Ian Chester. One original song on the album that received much attention, “El Ultimo Beso,” was written by none other than Anthony’s father. In a 1996 concert series at the Luis A. Ferre Performing Arts center in San Juan Marc, Anthony had the honor of performing this song with his dad. He told The San Juan Star in July 1996, “It’s special anytime you can give something back. For me it’s a very special concert, for him it’s a great big moment in his life. I know what it means to him and it means so much to me to be able to make his dream come true”. The album was a breakthrough success fromthe start. In January 1993, just 5 months after its release, Otra Nota went gold. The album eventually claimed double platinum status.
Otra Nota was a sales success and managed to gather a host of good reviews. In Billboard magazine Otra Nota was descriped as “a smashing salsa premiere and showcasing his (Anthony’s) emotive bari-setto searing over George’s customary fine arrangements.” The album was met with a lot of controversy regarding its authenticity as real salsa, generally from people at odds with the younger generation’s interpretation.
“My critics say my take on salsa is heresy, but I say I just do salsa the way I would sing it.” Anthony claims that while he was initially attracted to the music, he couldn’t relate to the old school open shirts, gold chains and ultra flashy style. Rejecting the social requirement of dressing flashy to perform salsa, Anthony instead often dons a pair of jeans, T-shirt and a baseball cap on stage. “When I recorded my first album I didn’t know anything about technique. People sent me cassettes of traditionalists and said, ’Here learn this, you’re doing it all wrong.’ I said, ’No way. Let me contribute something new.’ I just closed my eyes and did it the way I heard it from my experience and thank G-d I did it the way I heard because now looking back I can say I have a style of music that is mine”
In June of 1995, Anthony released the super smash Todo a su Tiempo. The album gained platinum status literally overnight in an twenty-four hour sweep. The title translated into English means all “in due time.” Anthony found it an appropriate name due to the album’s two year, very detailed and demanding process of completion. “The record has that title,” Anthony explained to the El Daily News, “because I think artists cannot do things in a hurry” Since its release, the recording has gone quadruple platinum and has brought not only international acclaim but has also substantiated Marc Anthony as a force to be reckoned with within the music industry. The album was arranged and co-produced by Anthony and contains compositions by Omar Alsano, Rudy Perez, Victor Victor and Manny de Gado. In addition to its success, Todo a su Tiempo managed to place Anthony side by side with idols Ruben Blades, Willie Colon, and Celia Cruz as a 1996 Grammy nominee in the tropical album of the year category.
Marc Anthony’s career has demanded many live appearances. In 1995 the Salsa sensation hit the concert trail with vigor, spending an exhausting 50 out of 52 weeks on the road. His relationship with his fans and his pride in his heritage are of great importance to him personally and appear significantly in his music as well. On stage Anthony is described by Elizabeth Roman of GTTVs “shining like no other, as he displays an aggressive energetic passion that almost always brings the audiencesto their feet.” During his performances, he always pays atribute to the Puerto Rican Flag. He brings out the flag not in the essence of the performance but to express pride in his heritage. Anthony often sells out concerts, playing multiple nights at a single venue, and was described by Christina Veran of Newsday as having a similar stage strut to the provocative Rolling Stone singer Mick Jagger.
Marc Anthony’s prolific charms, besides developing a gigantic fan base, have attracted additional attention by Hollywood big-wigs. He has starred in three major motion pictures to date. In the film Hackers, released in 1995 by MGM Entertainment, he portrays a young secret service agent. In The Substitute, Anthony is a gang leader who controls a high school and in The Big Night he appeared opposite legendary actress and model Isabella Rossellini. Though Anthony enjoys the challenges of acting, he reportedly has no intentions of giving up his musical endeavors. As he explained to the San Juan Star, “The day movie making satisfies me as much as music is the day I will be able to decide between the two.”
Anthony’s career still maintains an accelerated pace. With prospective movie deals and musical opportunities, the singer has had many demands placed on his time. In 1997, Anthony sought to change that burden to accommodate what he described in Latina magazine as “the current love of his life,” his infant daughter Arianna. Anthony insists his next album will follow the same lengthy recording process as Todo a su Tiempo, with a possible two-year wait. In the meantime, after turning down many opportunities, he chose to accept a role in the much-anticipated Broadway play Capetown so he could stay close to Arianna in New York City. In the play, expected to open in summer 1997 on Broadway, Anthony will star along with his longtime hero and colleague Ruben Blades. Both men play the convicted-murderer-turned-lauded-writer, Salvador Algron. The music is composed by Paul Simon.
Anthony is fortunate and humble. He explained his gratitude to GTTV: “The truth is I’m doing what I was born to do. God gave me this gift and the tools to do this and even if it’s just to instill Puerto Rican pride in others, I am doing what I was born to do. What keeps me going is knowing my daughter will have all the options I never had”
Todo A Su Tiempo, Soho Latino/RMM Records, 1995.
Otra Nota, Soho Latino/RMM Records, 1992.
When the Night is Over, Atlantic Records, 1991.
CashBox, July 1 1995, p.16.
Billboard, February 13, 1993, p.92.
El Daily News, June 8, 1995, p.23, June 22, 1995.
Guia de Television & Entretenimiento, February 1996, p. 18.
Latin Beat, August 1995, p.33.
Latina Magazine, Premiere issue, summer 1996, P. 12.
Newsday, July 20. 1995.
The Daily News, Viva Suppliment, March 1997 p. 18.
The Globe, date unknown, Page D17.
The San Juan Star, July 18, 1996, P.41.
Urban, The Latino Magazine, Summer Issue.
Anthony, Marc: 1969—: Singer, Songwriter, Actor
Marc Anthony: 1969—: Singer, songwriter, actor
Called "one of the finest male vocalists recording today," by Time magazine, Marc Anthony has pulled himself from a youth of singing with his father, standing on the kitchen table, to playing sold out concerts at Madison Square Gardens. He started out with great success in the Latin music market, and has taken this success mainstream, introducing a romantic Latino sound mixed with pop music. He has become an artist who is not afraid of his emotions and the truth that they tell through music. According to Billboard magazine, Tommy Mottola, chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment, said of Anthony that he was "among the best singers I've ever worked with. He pours immeasurable passion into every song he performs."
Marc Anthony was born Marco Antonio Muniz on September 16, 1969, in New York City. He grew up in Spanish Harlem and was the youngest in a family of five boys and three girls. His parents were Felipe, a hospital lunchroom worker and a frustrated musician, and Guillermina, a homemaker. The pair later divorced. Anthony often sang with his dad when he had his musician friends over. One story explained that Felipe put Anthony on the kitchen table to perform an old Puerto Rican favorite for all his friends. He told Time magazine, he also sang in elementary school where "whenever I sang—maybe because I had to concentrate so hard—I'd lose my embarrassing stutter." By the age of seven he was singing at his father's social club, and when he was 12, he and one of his sisters started singing for commercials for a slew of companies, including Bumble Bee Tuna.
When he was in high school, Anthony had the Chinese symbol for singer tattooed on his arm. When he was 15 he got a job as waterboy to Rubén Blades, another Latin singer whom Anthony admired very much. By the time he was in high school he was already writing music. He even wrote a couple of songs for the dance star Sa-Fire after she discovered his talents. The songs he wrote for her included, "You Said You Love Me," and "I Better Be the Only One," as well as "Boy I've Been Told," which made it to the Top 40 countdown. He sang backup for her, as well as for The Latin Rascals and Menudo. At the same time he wrote music for Menudo in both English and Spanish.
Little Louie Vega, whom Anthony had met while working with The Latin Rascals, became producer for Atlantic Records in the early 1990s. He asked Anthony to sing for him and together they recorded a dance album, When the Night is Over. He performed at clubs and even opened for Tito Puente at Madison Square Garden, but it was not until he re-recorded a song he had heard on the radio by Juan Gabriel—"Hasta Que Te Concoci (Until I Met You)," a ballad that he remade into an upbeat salsa song—that he began his ascent into stardom. Ironically, he had always shied away from recording salsa music, but Vega begged him to try the genre, and salsa music became Anthony's road to stardom.
At a Glance . . .
Born Marco Antonio Muniz on September 16, 1969, in New York, NY; son of Felipe and Guillermina Muniz; married Dayanara Torres Delgado, May 9, 2000; children: Arianna, Cristian Anthony.
Career: Actor, singer, songwriter. Sang commercial jingles with sister as a child; worked as waterboy for Rubén Blades; wrote songs for Sa-Fire; The Latin Rascals; Menudo; worked with Little Louie Vega; sung theme song for film The Mask of Zorro, 1998.
Awards: First Latin American to sell out Madison Square Garden for two nights; Billboard Awards, Best New Artist, 1994; Grammy Awards, nominated, 1996, Best Tropical Latin Performance, 1998; Latin Gram-mys, Song of the Year, for "Dimelo (I Need To Know)," 2000; Lo Nuestra Award; Ace Award; Diplo Award.
Addresses: Record Company— Columbia Records, 550 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10022. Phone: (212) 833-5212. Website— http://www.columbiare cords.com. Office— Marc Anthony Productions, 1385 York Ave., Ste. 6F, New York, NY 10021. Website— http://www.marcanthonyonline.com.
In 1993 Anthony released his first salsa album, Otra Nota. His manager sent him to perform at Radio y Musica, a Latin music convention in Los Angeles. He performed there in front of a group of disc jockeys backed only by instrumentals from a DAT player. He was so nervous that when he finished singing he ran off the stage. It was not until his manager stopped him that he noticed he had been given a standing ovation. He was seen on a Spanish-language television program, Carnaval Internacional, broadcasted world-wide to the Spanish community. Anthony also began to tour, performing in Puerto Rico, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, and even Tokyo.
Anthony's follow-up album, Todo a Su Tiempo (All in Due Time), was released in 1995. He spent 50 weeks touring to promote the album and was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1996. About this time Anthony also tried his hand at acting. He appeared as a secret service agent in Hackers, in 1995, as a waiter in Big Night, and as a high school gang member in The Substitute, both in 1996.
Anthony's Contra La Corriente, was released in 1997. It was the first salsa record to hit the Billboard 200, also reaching the number one position on both the Hot Latin Tracks countdown and the Billboard Latin 50. Variety magazine said of the singer and this album, "Anthony is the real goods. As a singer, he has power, range, beauty of tone, sensitivity, and most of all a rock-solid yet playful sense of rhythm that makes his salsa outings a truly thrilling experience." At this time Anthony was also cast on Broadway in Paul Simon's The Capeman, playing a Puerto Rican teenager who killed two other teens in New York in 1959. He was warmly received. As an added bonus, he was able to work with Latin music star Rubén Blades again, because Blades played the adult version of Anthony's character. According to The Progressive, "Marc Anthony captured the emotional volatility of the young Sal, and the nimbleness to which Sal aspires as he walks the fraying tightrope of his neighborhood."
While he was working on The Capeman, Anthony did not have the time to tour for his new salsa album. Instead he held two concerts in New York City. He became the first Latin American to sell out the famous New York Madison Square Garden for two nights. Anthony told Billboard, "Six months ago, if someone had suggested doing two nights at Madison Square Garden, I would have been like, 'Who's that moron? I don't want them working for me.' It's a lifetime achievement for me. For the rest of my life, I will wear that as a badge of honor." In 1998 he won a Grammy for the best tropical Latin performance for his work on this album. Around this same time he also recorded the theme song to the movie The Mask of Zorro. Anthony was firmly planted in the Latin music market as a star with a lot of growth potential.
In 1999 Anthony came out with what some people called his "crossover" album, Marc Anthony —an album that strayed away from Anthony's Latin roots. But Anthony assured his fans that he had not lost all the Latin flavor of his earlier hits. He told Billboard, "There's a very strong Latin influence throughout this album. It's not like I've gone and made a heavy metal record." And he has been quoted in Entertainment Weekly as having said of the crossover question, "I started out singing in English, so what am I crossing over to? That makes it sound like I'm trying my hand at somebody else's music. But I'm just as American as I am Puerto Rican. This is my music as much as anybody else's."
In recent years Anthony has kept himself busy. He was in Martin Scorsese's film Bringing Out The Dead, playing the homeless man Noel. Although the film starred Nicolas Cage, it is really around Anthony's character that the whole story pivots. Anthony also married Dayanara Torres, a former Miss Universe, on May 9, 2000. The couple also has a son, Cristian Anthony Muniz. Anthony released two more albums—the salsa album Libre and his newest pop album, Mended. He has also been involved in some philanthropical enterprises. He built one hundred homes for displaced Puerto Rican families in the aftermath of Hurricane Georges. In 2003 Anthony signed with for RADD (Recording Artists, Actors, and Athletes Against Drunk Driving), along with baseball MVP Barry Bonds, to do commercials. What will be next for Marc Anthony has not been decided, but there is sure to be some dancing music, some romance, and some more of the passionate personality that people have come to admire.
Big Night, 1996.
The Substitute, 1996.
The Capeman, (Broadway play) 1998.
Bringing Out The Dead, 1999.
When The Night Is Over, (with Little Louie Vega) 1991.
Otra Nota, (includes single "Hasta Que Te Concoci") 1993.
Todo a Su Tiempo, 1995.
Contra la Corriente, 1997.
Marc Anthony, 1999.
"Boy I've Been Told," (for Sa-Fire) 1988.
"I Better Be The Only One," (for Sa-Fire) 1988.
"You Said You Love Me," (for Sa-Fire) 1988.
Contemporary Musicians, Volume 33, Gale Group, 2002.
Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television, Volume 30, Gale Group, 2000.
Newsmakers 2000, Issue 3, Gale Group, 2000.
Billboard, December 20, 1997, p. 1; September 18, 1999, p. 124; February 12, 2000, p. 64.
Brandweek, January 13, 2003, p. 8.
Entertainment Weekly, February 13, 1998, p. 60; October 8, 1999, p. 32.
Global Cosmetic Industry, August 2002, p. 13.
Interview, February 1999, p. 84.
People Weekly, December 13, 1999, p. 185; December 23, 2002, p. 63.
Progressive, June 1998, p. 36.
Time, May 24, 1999, p. 74; September 20, 1999, p. 80; September 15, 2001, p. 9; May 27, 2002, p.
Variety, February 2, 1998, p. 39; March 13, 2000, p. 34.
"Marc Anthony," All Music Guide, http//www.allmusic.com (March 26, 2003).
"Marc Anthony," Internet Movie Database, http://www.imdb.com (March 26, 2003).
Marc Anthony Official Website, http://www.marcanthonyonline.com (March 26, 2003).
—Catherine Victoria Donaldson
Anthony, Marc 1968–
ANTHONY, Marc 1968–
Original name, Marco Antonio Muniz; born September 16, 1968, in New York, NY; son of Felipe (a hospital lunchroom worker and musician) and Guillermina (a housewife) Muniz; married Dayanara Torres Delgado (a model), May 9, 2000 (divorced, 2004); married Jennifer Lopez (an actress, singer), June 5, 2004; children: (with ex–girlfriend) Arianna, (first marriage) Cristian, Ryan.
Office—Marc Anthony Productions, 1385 York Ave., Suite 6F, New York, NY 10021. Agent—William Morris Agency, 1325 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019; Creative Artists Agency, 9830 Wilshire Blvd., CA 90212. Manager—Casablanca Records, 8255 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90046.
Singer and actor. Began his musical career in his early teens, providing the background vocals for commercial jingles; wrote songs and performed as backup singer for Sa–Fire; also sang backup for the groups Menudo and Latin Rascals; appeared in television commercials for Coca Cola, 1998, RADD, 2001, and the "I Love New York" Tourism Committee, 2002; appeared in print ads, including American Dairy Farmers and Milk Processors, 2000.
Billboard Award, best new artist of the year, 1994; Tu Musica Award, best tropical album of the year, and Grammy Award nomination, tropical album of the year, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, for Todo a su tiempo; Lo Nuestro Award, Ace Award, and Diplo Award, in Puerto Rico, 1994, all for Otra nota; ALMA Award (with Tina Arena), outstanding performance of a song, 1999, for The Mask of Zorro; Grammy Award, best tropical Latin album, 1999, for Contra la corriente; Grammy Award nomination, best male pop performance, 2000, for I Need to Know; ASCAP Award, most performed songs from motion pictures, ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards, and Blockbuster Entertainment Award nomination, favorite song from a movie, 2001, for Runaway Bride; ALMA Award nomination, outstanding actor, 2002, for In the Time of the Butterflies; ALMA Award, outstanding performance in a special, 2002, for Christmas in Rockefeller Center; American Music Award, favorite Latin artist, 2004; Grammy Award, best Latin pop album, 2005, for Amar sin mentiras.
Flaco, East Side Story, 1988.
Latin band at disco, Carlito's Way, 1993.
Marine guard, Natural Causes, 1994.
Himself, Familia RMM combinacion perfecta (documentary), RMM Records, 1994.
Himself, Los mejores videos de India & Marc Anthony (documentary short film), Sony Music Video, 1995.
Agent Ray, Hackers, Derio, 1995.
Cristiano, Big Night, Samuel Goldwyn, 1996.
Juan Lacas, The Substitute, Orion, 1996.
Himself, I Am, from Cuban Son to Salsa, 1997.
Himself, RMM 10th Anniversary Collection VOL. 1, RMM Records, 1997.
Himself, RMM 10th Anniversary Collection VOL. 3, RMM Records, 1997.
Himself, The 22nd New York Salsa Festival (also known as Ralph Mercado Presents … The 22nd New York Salsa Festival), 1997.
Himself, Romance del cumbanchero (documentary; also known as Romance del cumbanchero: La musica de Rafael Hernandez), Banco Popular, 1998.
Con la musica por dentro, 1999.
Noel, Bringing out the Dead, Paramount, 1999.
Jennifer Lopez: Feelin' So Good, 2000.
Guittara mia (documentary), Banco Popular, 2000.
Himself, Raices (documentary), Banco Popular, 2001.
Samuel, Man on Fire, Twentieth Century–Fox, 2004.
Himself, Vengeance Is Mine: Reinventing "Man on Fire" (documentary), Twentieth Century–Fox Home Entertainment, 2005.
Television Appearances; Movies:
Lio, In the Time of the Butterflies (also known as En el tiempo de las mariposas), Showtime, 2001.
Television Appearances; Specials:
71st Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, 1997.
A Rosie Christmas, CBS, 1999.
The Americanos Concert, PBS, 1999.
Mi Gente! My People! (documentary), 1999.
The Latin Beat (documentary), ABC, 1999.
Interviewee, Grammy Countdown, CBS, 2000.
Marc Anthony: The Concert from Madison Square Garden, HBO, 2000.
Christmas in Rockefeller Center, NBC, 2000.
Christmas in Washington, TNT, 2000.
Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year 2000, CBS, 2000.
Voice of Mario, The Robinita Hood: An Animated Special from the "Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child" Series (animated), HBO, 2000.
Holiday Music Spectacular from Miami Beach 2000, Fox, 2000.
For VH1 Save the Music Foundation, VH1, 2001.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum: 16th Annual Induction Ceremony, VH1, 2001.
Interviewee, Tito Puente: The King of Latin Music (documentary), PBS, 2001.
Come Together: A Night for John Lennon's Words and Music, TNT and The WB, 2001.
VH1 Divas Live: The One and Only Aretha Franklin, VH1, 2001.
Judge, Miss Universe, CBS, 2001.
Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration, CBS, 2001.
Christmas in Rockefeller Center, NBC, 2001.
InStyle Celebrities at Home, NBC, 2001.
Miss Universe Pageant, CBS, 2002.
The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, CBS, 2002.
Harry for the Holidays, NBC, 2003.
The Making of "Man on Fire" (documentary), 2004.
Television Appearances; Awards Presentations:
The 1999 ALMA Awards, 1999.
The 42nd Annual Grammy Awards, 2000.
2000 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, Fox, 2000.
The 6th Annual Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, Fox, 2000.
The 2nd Annual Latin Grammy Awards, 2001.
Presenter, The 28th Annual American Music Awards, ABC, 2001.
The 3rd Annual Latin Grammy Awards, CBS, 2002.
Presenter, The 45th Annual Grammy Awards, CBS, 2003.
World Music Awards 2004, ABC, 2004.
The 32nd Annual American Music Awards, ABC, 2004.
Presenter, The 2004 MTV Video Music Awards, MTV, 2004.
The 47th Annual Grammy Awards, CBS, 2005.
Television Appearances; Episodic:
Saturday Night Live, NBC, 1999.
Mad TV, Fox, 2000.
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, NBC, 2001 and 2002.
(In archive footage) "La verdad sobre el divorcio de Marc Anthony y Dayanara," El show de Cristina, 2004.
(In archive footage) "Bombazos y Exclusivas," El show de Cristina, 2004.
"Man on Fire," HBO First Look, HBO, 2004.
(In archive footage) "Bodas Recientes," Que bodas!, 2004.
Inside the Actors Studio, Bravo, 2004.
Salvador Algron, The Capeman, Marquis Theatre, New York City, 1998.
When the Night Is Over, Atlantic, 1991.
Otra nota, Soho Latino/RMM, 1992.
Todo a su tiempo, Soho Latino/RMM, 1995.
Asi como hoy, 1996.
Contra la corriente, RMM, 1997.
Marc Anthony, Columbia, 1999.
I Need to Know, Columbia, 1999.
Desde un principio: From the Beginning, Sony Discos Inc., 1999.
When I Dream at Night, Sony International, 2000.
Unauthorized, Peter Pan, 2000.
You Sang to Me, Sony International, 2000.
Libre, Sony, 2001.
Mended, Columbia, 2002.
I Need You, Sony International, 2002.
Tragedy, Sony International, 2002.
I've Got You, Sony, 2002.
Everything You Do, Sony International, 2003.
Exitos eternos, Universal Latino, 2003.
The Hits, 2004.
Valio la pena, Sony International, 2004.
Amar sin mentiras, Sony Discos Inc., 2004.
Wrote songs, including "You Said You Love Me" and "I Better Be the Only One" for Latin singer Sa–Fire; wrote songs for pop band Menudo.
Contemporary Hispanic Biography, Volume 3, Gale, 2003.
Contemporary Musicians, Volume 33, Gale, 2002.
Johns, Michael Anne, Marc Anthony, Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2000.
Billboard, December 20, 1997, p. 1.
Entertainment Weekly, October 8, 1999, p. 32.
Interview, February, 1999, p. 84.
People Weekly, December 13, 1999, p. 185.
Marc Anthony Official Site, http://www.marchanthonyonline.com/, July 13, 2005.
Born: Marco Antonio Muñiz; New York, 16 September 1969
Best-selling album since 1990: Marc Anthony (1999)
Hit songs since 1990: "Hasta Que Te Conocí," "I Need to Know," "You Sang to Me"
In a decade Marc Anthony had three careers encompassing divergent styles. He started out as a freestyle dance maniac, moved on to salsa, and became huge as a pop crooner.
Marc Anthony was raised in New York's Spanish Harlem. His father was a musician who gave him the same name as a prominent Mexican balladeer of the 1960s. In the late 1980s Marc Anthony got into freestyle music, a stripped-down style influenced by techno and hip-hop that grew out of New York's Latino community. He wrote "Boy, I've Been Told" (1988), a hit for Sa-Fire, and had a few dance-club hits of his own in 1991 with "Rebel" and "Ride on the Rhythm."
Upon hearing Mexican balladeer Juan Gabriel sing the dramatic "Hasta Que Te Conocí" on the radio, Marc Anthony was inspired to move into Spanish-language music, where brazen sentimentality is the order of the day. Many other former freestyle artists, including Sa-Fire, Brenda K. Starr, and India, made the same leap.
His Spanish-language debut, Otra Nota (1993), features a soulful, salsa version of "Hasta Que Te Conocí." Salsa is a popular Latin dance rhythm with elements of Cuban son and Latin jazz. The album was produced by Sergio George, an expert musician who likes to fuse Latin rhythms with R&B-influenced vocals.
His follow-up album, Todo a Su Tiempo (1995), is another treat for dancers, as Marc Anthony's passionate tenor adds tension to George's percolating arrangements, especially on standout cuts "Se Me Sigue Olvidando," "Te Conozco Bien," and "Nadie Como Ella." Unsure of his Spanish abilities, Marc Anthony relied on composer Omar Alfanno for much of his material. For that reason he also avoids the vocal improvisation that characterizes the coda of many salsa tunes.
Contra la Corriente (1997) continues in the same vein and earned Marc Anthony a Grammy for best tropical Latin album. That year he also starred in the Paul Simon musical The Capeman. It flopped, but Marc Anthony received good notices for his acting and went on to appear in the Martin Scorsese film Bringing Out the Dead (1999), though it, too, flopped.
Anthony returned to the English language in a big way with Marc Anthony (1999). But this time, instead of hanging out in the free-style subgenre, he aimed for mass success. He comes across as a traditional pop balladeer who adds subtle R&B and Latin elements. Producer Cory Rooney was an important contributor. Anthony said that Rooney was the first collaborator with whom he's felt chemistry—they finish each other's hooks and lyrical ideas. The single "I Need to Know," written by the pair, uses a stripped-down arrangement featuring piano and synthesized brass, borrowing from the old free-style days. But the tempo recalls classic Afro-Cuban ballroom fare. Despite sounding like nothing else on Top 40 radio, the song shot to number three on the Hot 100. The ballad "You Sang to Me" became one of the biggest recent pop hits to feature an accordion solo.
In 2000 Anthony married the former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres. She gave birth to their first son, Christian, in early 2001. Marc Anthony also has a daughter Arianna, born in 1994 to his former girlfriend, Debbie Rosado, a New York City police officer.
Anthony built a home studio in order to stay closer to his new family and finally released Libre (2001), his first Spanish album in four years. A complex work co-produced by Marc Anthony and his longtime keyboardist Juanito Gonzalez, the album does not have the danceable hooks that his salsa fans wanted. However, Marc Anthony viewed the effort as a maturation, since he co-wrote all but one song.
Mended (2002) again tapped Rooney as a producer. However, the album never ignites the fire of his salsa material. The ballad "I Need You" is expertly crafted adult contemporary, with pretty synthesizers and acoustic guitar, but is weighed down by a Muzak-y blandness. "I've Got You," with its samba feel, is more energetic. But lyrics about hanging out with models and world travel do not resonate with most CD buyers. The album also includes "Tragedy," one of the strongest tracks. Columbia did not attempt to re-release the single in the United States, instead promoting a Spanish version in Latin America. Upon the album's release, Anthony said it expresses his contentment with family life. Unfortunately, a few weeks later he and Torres separated, just as he embarked on a grueling U.S. tour. However, the couple insisted they were not seeking a divorce and were trying to work things out.
Though far from a flop, Mended did not reach the heights of Marc Anthony. And the esoteric nature of Libre dimmed his star with salsa fans. However, with his singing talent, on-stage charisma, and eclectic musical tastes, Marc Anthony is likely to re-emerge with more interesting fusions and danceable concoctions.
Otra Nota (Sony, 1993); Todo a Su Tiempo (Sony, 1995); Contra la Corriente (Sony, 1997); Marc Anthony (Columbia, 1999); Libre (Sony, 2001); Mended (Columbia, 2002).