Iglesias, Enrique: 1975—: Singer, Songwriter
Enrique Iglesias: 1975—: Singer, Songwriter
Enrique Iglesias catapulted to fame in the 1990s, holding a leading place among a new generation of Spanish-speaking pop stars whose music combines romantic ballads, hot Latin dance rhythms, and American rock influences. The son of globally-famous Latin crooner Julio Iglesias, Enrique Iglesias has charted an independent course to his musical career, breaking into the recording industry by using a pseudonym to dispel any notions of riding on his father's coattails. In the course of his brief career, the Spanish-born, American-reared singer with the husky baritone and smoldering good looks has racked up a Grammy award, broken Latin music sales records, landed a role in a Hollywood movie, and evoked the sort of adulation among female fans once associated with a young Frank Sinatra or a hip-swiveling Elvis Presley.
Enrique Iglesias was born on May 8, 1975, in Madrid, Spain, to Julio Iglesias, the legendary singer, and Isabel Preysler, a Philippine-born journalist. Julio Iglesias, who recorded the classic 1984 duet with Willie Nelson "To All the Girls I've Loved Before" has sold more than 200 million albums worldwide, earning him a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.
When Enrique was four, his parents divorced. For the next five years, Enrique and his older siblings—sister Chabeli and brother Julio Jr., also a singer—lived in Spain with their mother. Then Preysler became concerned that her children were in danger of being kidnapped, so she sent them to Miami to live with their father. Julio, however, was frequently gone on business, leaving the children to the care of the nanny, Elvira Olivares. Enrique later dedicated his first album to Olivares.
Secretly Dreamed of Singing
From the time he was a child, Enrique Iglesias dreamed of being a singer but kept his ambitions a secret from his parents. "I never told them because writing was like my own little diary—it was so private, so personal, " he saidina Rolling Stone interview in 2000 with Jancee Dunn.
As a teenager in Miami, Enrique spent his time jet-skiing, windsurfing, and listening to American rock and pop music. He and his friends found inspiration in the likes of Foreigner, Journey, Dire Straits, John Mellen-camp, Billy Joel, and Bruce Springsteen. While his father attracted hordes of female fans, the teenaged Enrique had trouble getting dates. "In high school I probably got rejected 70 percent of the time, " he told Rolling Stone. " I was too skinny and small. I ended up going to the prom by myself."
At a Glance . . .
Born Enrique Iglesias Preysler on May 8, 1975, in Madrid, Spain; son of Julio Iglesias (a singer) and Isabel Preysler (a Philippine-born journalist). Education University of Miami, attended.
Career: Singer and songwriter. Albums: Enrique Iglesias 1995; Vivir, 1997; Cosas Del Amor, 1998; Bailamos (We Dance ) 1999; Best Hits 1999; Enrique, 1999; Escape, 2001; feature film debut, OnceUpon a Time in Mexico, 2002.
Awards: World Music Award, Hispanic Artist of the Year, 1996; Billboard Award, Artist of the Year, 1996-97; Grammy Award, Best Latin Pop Performance for Enrique Iglesias ),1997; Billboard Award, Best Latin Pop Artist, 1998; People Weekly, Spanish-language edition, "Sexiest Man Alive.&rdquo, 1998; VH1 Vogue Fashion Award, Most Fashionable Artist, Male, 2000; CCTV-MTV Music Honors, Male International Artist of the Year, Beijing, China, 2000; American Music Award,, Favorite Latin Artist, 1999, 2001, 2002; numerous others.
Address: Record company— Interscope Records, 2220 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Iglesias began writing songs and playing music in a friend's garage but enrolled in the University of Miami to study business administration. In 1994, his sophomore year, he dropped out of college to pursue his musical aspirations, keeping the news a secret from his parents. When Julio reportedly learned of his son's ambitions from an industry insider at a cocktail party, he was displeased. "I told him I was sorry," Iglesias recalled in People Weekly. "I said, 'Look, this is exactly what I've always wanted to do. Just let me do it my way, please.'"
Iglesias contacted Fernan Martinez, a music industry acquaintance, who, upon hearing the young singer perform, urged him to make a demo tape. Iglesias used the pseudonym of Enrique Martinez to keep his identity as Julio's son a secret. For the next few months, Fernan Martinez sent the tape to various labels but was unable to drum up any interest. "I felt bad, you know," Iglesias later recalled in an interview with CD Now, " but at the same time I said, 'Good, if I make it, it will be because of my music and not because of my last name.'"
Finally Fonovisa Records, a small Los Angeles independent known primarily as a regional Mexican imprint, expressed an interest. "The voice was very masculine and different," recalled Guillermo Santiso, Fonovisa's president/CEO in Billboard. Santiso also reportedly liked the enclosed photograph of the handsome singer. Upon being informed of Iglesias's true identity, Santiso signed him to a three-album deal worth $1 million and won financial support from Fonovisa's parent company, Mexican media giant Televisa, for a massive promotional campaign. The first batch of radio spots identified the young singer only as Enrique to keep his identity as Julio's son under wraps. A promotional blitz followed, with Iglesias granting hundreds of interviews in both English and Spanish.
The singer took great pains to distinguish himself from his famous father. "Please do not introduce me as the son of Julio Iglesias," he said in People Weekly. "I'm very proud of my father, but when you read Billboard now, you see Enrique Iglesias." The two appealed to different generations, he later explained in an interview with MTV.
All the money and hard work paid off. Iglesias's first album—the Spanish-language Enrique Iglesias released in September of 1995—eventually sold almost five million copies worldwide, according to Rock on the Net. The album was certified gold, then platinum. In 1996 Iglesias won the Billboard Award for Album of the Year, New Artist, as well as a World Music Award. In January of 1997, Iglesias released his follow-up album, Vivir (Living ), which scored two top 10 singles on the Billboard charts. The following month the young singer won a Grammy for his first album. In January of 1998, according to Rock on the Net, he was nominated for an American Music Award for Favorite Latin Artist but lost out to his father.
Iglesias released his third album, Cosas Del Amor (Things of Love ), in 1998. Newsmakers reported that Iglesias was the only artist to simultaneously top the Hot 100 Dance/Club Play, Hot Latin Tracks, and Latin 50 album charts in 1998. In a mere three years, Iglesias had sold more than 17 million Spanish-language albums, more than anyone else during that period, according to allmusic.com. The United States was his biggest market. In January of 1999, Iglesias won an American Music Award for Favorite Latin Artist Performance. That summer, Iglesias scored a pop radio hit with "Bailamos"—translated as "We Dance"—a hypnotic dance song featured in the film Wild, Wild West starring Will Smith. The song hit number onr on the top 40 charts for three weeks in September of 1999. As Iglesias's records topped the charts, many of the studios that had rejected the singer early in his career tried to woo him. BMG and Warner ardently courted Iglesias, but the young artist chose Universal Music Group/Interscope Records instead. In 1999 Igesias left Fonovisa for a six-album with Interscope worth an estimated $44 million, according to Billboard.
In November of 1999 Iglesias released Enrique, his first album in English and his first with Interscope Records. Like many artists with cross-cultural appeal, Iglesias included Spanish-language versions of a few of his songs on the album. Enrique brought the singer's global sales to more than 23 million, according to allmusic.com. Several singles from the album joined "Bailamos" on the charts: "Rhythm Divine,&rrdquo; "Be With You," "Could I Have This Kiss Forever," and "Sad Eyes." Enrique achieved gold or platinum status in an extraordinary 32 countries.
Earned Recognition Through "Latin Explosion"
Like fellow pop stars Ricky Martin and Marc Anthony, Iglesias established himself in the Spanish-language market before releasing his first English-language album. Iglesias and other rising stars appealed to a new generation of Spanish-speaking youth. Many of these young people's parents had grown up listening to Julio Iglesias. "It had gotten to the point in the Latino music market where it wasn't cool for the young kids to listen to it, " Iglesias told Richard Harrington of Newsday. "We had a lot of great singers, but they were in their 40s and 50s. Suddenly you start getting a bunch of young Latino singers, and then the young listeners started getting into it." In an interview with MTV, he added, " I'd be in an American restaurant and suddenly the people that did the valet parking, the people in the kitchen, who were Spanish or Mexican or Puerto Rican would be like, 'Can I have your autograph? ' All the Americans would be like, 'Who the hell is that?'"
Then, in 1999, the commercial breakthrough year for Latin music, Iglesias and other Spanish-speaking artists soared to the top of the pop charts, prompting some observers to speak of a "Latin Explosion." Iglesias, however, disliked the term. "I'm proud of who I am and where I come from," he said in an interview with MTV. "The only word I don't like there is 'explosion,' because when there is an explosion it's not bound to last too long. I think it all comes down to the artist and the song"
The young pop star also disliked the term "crossover," widely used to describe Spanish-speaking singers who moved into the English-language market. "'Crossover' ….what does it mean?" he mused to Mercedes Garcia-Aguilar of CD Now. "I grew up listening to English pop and rock, and I feel comfortable singing in the English language."
Although sometimes compared to fellow Latin pop star Ricky Martin, Iglesias has become recognized for certain qualities of his own, including a "raspy baritone, " flamenco dance rhythms, and ballads bearing the influence of American rock bands such as Journey and Foreigner. One of those ballads, "Hero," was written as a love song but acquired special significance in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks. "I'm nothing like him!" Iglesias said about Ricky Martin in a Sun Newspaper Online chat posted on Abstracts.net in January of 2002. "Come on, 'Hero'? 'Hero' and the rest of my music is very different to anything by Ricky Martin."
Iglesias considered himself a pop singer who sometimes sang in Spanish rather than a " Latin singer." Latin music, he said, encompassed a variety of styles—salsa, flamenco, and meringue, among them. While some observers distinguished Iglesias's style from Ricky Martin's adrenaline-charged dance pop and Marc Anthony's salsa rhythms, others saw them as one group of Latin musicians. In an interview with CD Now, Iglesias said that grouping the three artists together—Marc Anthony and Ricky Martin, both from Puerto Rico, and himself from Spain—was like "saying there's three guys from Ohio who are singers, and they start doing well; is that an Ohio music trend?"
Dubbed Sexiest Man Alive
Like his father, Iglesias attracted throngs of adoring female fans. "He has the same appeal his father has, but to a younger audience," Tony Campos, an executive with Miami's radio station WAMR, said in People Weekly. "He stands onstage, and the girls go crazy."
The Spanish language edition of People Weekly dubbed Enrique Iglesias the "Sexiest Man Alive" in 1998. Two years later, Vogue awarded him its "Most Fashionable Artist, Male" award as a result of "his innate coolness rather than any interest in being a clotheshorse." Although repeatedly described as a "heartthrob, " the singer, himself, has eschewed the ethnic stereotyping of the "Latin lover" label. "The word 'lover' I just think is corny, " Iglesias told rolling-stone.com.
Still, female fans clearly viewed him as a pop idol, showering him with roses, stuffed animals, jewelry, cologne, and phone numbers. During one promotional appearance in Toronto mentioned in enriqueonline.com, a teenaged girl bit a security guard's hand. In the United States, fans reportedly mobbed the singer during a Tonight Show taping. "They actually can pull very hard, " he told Rolling Stone. "One pulls one way, the other pulls another way, another pulls the other way. " But Iglesias, who repeatedly described his female fans as "great" seemed unfazed. When asked by Rolling Stone if he ever got frightened, he replied, "Nah. Give me a break. What are they gonna do?"
Despite his spectacular popularity, Iglesias faced continuing rumors and controversies. Reporters continually asked about Iglesias's relationship with his father, sometimes implying friction between the two men. In addition, some observers questioned the extent of Iglesias's talent.
In June of 2000 radio show host Howard Stern, whose controversial style has earned him the epithet of "shock jock," suggested on the air that Iglesias could not sing after listening to a tape of Iglesias singing off-key. Although Iglesias said that he was probably just fooling around, he nevertheless booked himself on the Howard Stern's show to dispel the rumors.
On the show, Iglesias performed acoustic versions of two songs, "Rhythm Divine" and "Be With You, " prompting everyone in the studio to applaud, according to the transcript posted on enrique-online.com. The singer also responded to questions from the host about his relationship with his father, describing it as one of "healthy competition" rather than rancor. At the end of Iglesias's performance, Stern declared, "You can sing."
"Hero" Soothed Terrified Nation
Iglesias's second English-language album, Escape, released in September of 2001, marked a musical departure from his earlier work. Escape featured more of an American arena-rock influence, showing the singer's affection for ballads by such 1980s groups as Journey and Foreigner. "This is the album that is the most like me," he said, describing Escape on his official website.
In a move unusual by industry standards, Iglesias decided to release a ballad, "Hero," rather than an up-tempo song as the first single from Escape. "Hero," which was written as a love song, hit the airwaves in September of 2001, captured the imagination of a nation grappling with the terrorist attacks of September 11th. In response to the September 11th tragedy, some radio stations reportedly played "Hero," with news clips and excerpts of a speech by President George W. Bush's talking over it. "It kinda bothered me a little bit in the beginning because I never gave permission, and that wasn't the meaning of the song," Iglesias told Gary Graff of CD Now. "And then I came to think, 'You know what? It's a love song. It's a song about helping the one you love. It's completely logical at a time like this. ' " On September 21, 2001 Iglesias performed "Hero," on America: A Tribute to Heroes, a two-hour star-studded telecast to raise money for the United Way's September 11 fund.
Critics, however, gave both "Hero," and Escape mixed reviews. " Nothing here is even irritatingly catchy like his breakthrough hit, ' Bailamos,' said a review in People Weekly. "Such up-tempo Latin-lite numbers as the title tune, 'Love to See You Cry, ' and 'I Will Survive' (no relation to the disco chestnut) are as bland as white bread. The whimpering ballad 'Hero' only magnifies his trembly vocals." A critic for Knight/Ridder/Tribune News Service was similarly negative, criticizing Iglesias for "those little cries he omits at the end of a line" to convey emotion. Nevertheless, Iglesias's popularity remained strong. He had the clout to attract such high-profile actresses as Jennifer Love Hewitt and Shannon Elizabeth and tennis star Anna Kournikova to roles in his music videos. In January of 2002, Iglesias won an American Music Award for Favorite Latin Artist.
Landed Role in Film
Iglesias also had the star power to land a role in the 2002 movie Once Upon a Time in Mexico, the third installment in Robert Rodriguez's story of El Mariachi, a wandering guitar playing vigilante, starring Antonio Banderas. In the movie, Iglesias plays one of three mariachis involved in a plot to rescue the president of Mexico.
Iglesias spoke to MTV about deciding to take the role, "I loved his [Robert Rodriguez's] movies and I'm not an actor, but he said, 'you don't have to be an actor. You can do it, '" Iglesias recalled. "I said, 'It can't be that hard to pick up a couple of guns and shoot.' "
Music, however, remained his primary passion. "Music is an addiction, " he told Vogue in 2000. "I'm so addicted that I keep on doing it." When Rolling Stone 's Jancee Dunn asked Iglesias what he did to relax, he said, "Sleep." He toured tirelessly, often appearing in a different city daily. During one concert tour, a rotating crane reportedly carried Iglesias in a circular motion 40 feet above the crowd. The Latin pop star set lofty goals for himself. In January of 1996, Iglesias told the New York Times Magazine, "My dream is for my music to be heard in every corner of the world. I'd like to be in an elevator in Hong Kong and hear my songs." Six years later, after performing in countries around the world, he told the Sun in an online chat posted on Abstracts.net: "Right now I haven't even reached the climax of my musical career, so I still have a long way to go. I still feel like I have a lot of music in me that I want to do."
Enrique Iglesias, Fonovisa, 1995.
Vivir, Fonovisa, 1997.
Cosas Del Amor, Fonovisa, 1998.
Bailamos (includes "Bailamos"), Fonovisa,1999.
Best Hits, Enrique Iglesias, Fonovisa, 1999.
Enrique (includes "Bailamos," "Be With You," "Rhythm Divine," "Could I Have This Kiss Forever," and "Sad Eyes"), Interscope, 1999.
Escape (includes "Hero", "Escape"), Interscope 2001.
Current Biography Yearbook, H.W. Wilson Co., 1999, p. 282-283.
Newsmakers 2000, Issue 1, Gale Group, 2001.
Billboard, July 19, 1997, p. 1 October 30, 2001, p. 4.
Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service, June 2, 2001, p. K1432, Oct. 30, 2001, p. K6736.
New York Times Magazine January 21, 1996, p. 14
Newsday March 15, 1999, p. B6.
People Weekly, April 22, 1996, p. 144 May 11, 1998, p. 141 Nov. 5, 2001, p. 43+, p.
RollingStone, February 3, 2000, p. 28
South Florida Sun Sentinel February 22, 2002, "Showtime" p. 36
Vogue November 2000, p. 226
AMG All Music Guide, http://allmusic.com
Biography Resource Center, http://galenet.galegroup.com
Enrique Iglesias, Official Website, http://enriqueiglesias.com
Rock on the Net, http://www.rockonthenet.com
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Born: Madrid, Spain, 8 May 1975
Genre: Latin Pop
Best-selling album since 1990: Enrique (1999)
Hit songs since 1990: "Hero," "Rhythm Divine," "Esperanza"
Enrique Iglesias, the son of the famous Spanish singer Julio Iglesias, was born in Madrid, Spain, where he lived with his mother, brother, and sister until 1982 when the children moved to live with their father in Miami, Florida. At a private school in Miami Iglesias's interest in music was nurtured, and he took part in school musicals.
Embarking on a singing career in the mid-1990s, Iglesias decided to conceal his ambitions from his parents and pursued music under the pseudonym Enrique Martinez. It was only after he had clinched his first record deal that he told them about his intentions to pursue music professionally, and at that time reverted back to his family name. His first album, Enrique Iglesias, was released in 1996 and sold more than 6 million copies worldwide, with the United States as the largest part of the market. This album comprises a mix of pop ballads and easily memorable tunes. In this album the first signs of Iglesias's wailing and deeply sentimental vocal technique came to characterize a sound that surfaces in all his later albums. In songs such as "Por Amarte," the yearning and earnest mood of his vocal style is drawn out to its fullest in a manner that capitalizes on the Latin American genre to which he aspires.
His follow-up album, Vivir, was released in 1997 and became an instant success, winning him a Grammy Award, and by the end of this year he had topped more than 8 million sales of both albums. The album Vivir displays greater versatility in musical style than its forerunner, with Iglesias turning to a mix of styles such as rock on the track "Volveré," reggae on "Lluvia Cae," and pop ballad on "Miente." However, there is a sense that his performance on this album could be pushed even further to achieve a greater depth and degree of personal reflection. Most of the songs, which consist of a mix of Latin, dance-pop, and ballads, laced with seductive vocals, were written when Iglesias was only seventeen years old.
The release of Cosas del Amor in 1998 brought clear evidence that Iglesias had matured. Dealing with themes of love and romance, the songs in this work are highly polished in their production. Notable are the musical arrangements, with their melodramatic gestures and lush scoring. In the tuneful ballads "Cosas del Amor" and "Esperanza," Iglesias uses catchy rhythms and percussion parts to draw out the songs' strong melodic lines. In "Para de Jugar," he turns to funk with a rhythm and blues flavor that brings the track alive.
In 1999 the album Enrique became the singer's biggest global success, selling more than 23 million copies, with gold and platinum sales in thirty-two countries. Including a cover of rocker Bruce Springsteen's "Sad Eyes" and a duet with pop icon Whitney Houston, this glossy production offers a variety of songs that blend Iglesias's emotional delivery with a strong, rhythmic Latin undertow. In the same year, the album Bailamos: Greatest Hits signified a colossal breakthrough for Iglesias in the Latin world and topped the Billboard Hot 100.
By the time he released Escape in 2001, Iglesias had sold more than 23 million albums and reached superstar status all around the world. Together with other pop stars such as Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Selena, and Christina Aguilera, he played a major part in the international Latin pop boom.
Enrique Iglesias (Fonovisa, 1995); Version en Italiano (Fonovisa, 1996); Master Pistas (Spartacus, 1997); Vivir (Fonovisa, 1997); Cosas del Amor (Fonovisa, 1998); Enrique (Interscope, 1999); Bailamos: Greatest Hits (Fonovisa, 1999); Escape (Interscope, 2001); Quizás (Universal, 2002).
E. Furman and L. Furman, Enrique Iglesias (New York, 2000).
"Iglesias, Enrique." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/iglesias-enrique
"Iglesias, Enrique." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Retrieved April 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/iglesias-enrique
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Romantic balladeer, Enrique Iglesias, prayed as a child to become a popular singer, but his superstar father never knew about theyoung boy’s ambition. When Iglesias was old enough to make an audition tape, he mailed the samples to prospective record companies under an assumed name, fearful of prejudice in light of his father’s prominence in the recording industry. Talent and desire won out for Enrique Iglesias, and he signed a recording contract exclusively on his own merits, secure in the knowledge that he succeeded on talent and charisma, and without the use of his well–connected surname. Iglesias’s famous paternity became evident on the occasion of his first recorded release in 1995 under his true name of Iglesias. Regardless, the popular singer and songwriter settled into his career, confident at his ability to establish name recognition as Enrique (not Julio) Iglesias, through his personal musical style and appeal.
Enrique Iglesias was born Enrique Iglesias Preysler in Madrid, Spain, on May 8, 1975. He was the youngest of six siblings, three boys and three girls. His parents, Isabel Preysler and Julio Iglesias, divorced in 1979. Enrique Iglesias continued to live in Madrid with his mother, a Philippine–born journalist, until the early 1980s when Preysler received kidnap threats against her children. Reluctantly she sent the youngsters to the United States to live in Miami, Florida, with their superstar father. In Florida, Enrique Iglesias became enamored with water sports, especially wind–surfing; he also loved to water ski and scuba dive. By the time he was in his early teens he made regular summer trips to Hawaii where he lived a humble existence in a shack and spent his days windsurfing. Although the circumstances of his childhood kept him physically apartf rom his parents, the family nonetheless stayed in touch as much as was reasonably possible. His mother remained in Spain, while his father, an international singing idol, was seldom at home. In Miami the children were raised almost exclusively by a nursemaid, Elvira Olivares, who took the family under her wing and loved the children as her own. Later, when Enrique Iglesias released his first record album, he dedicated the work lovingly to Olivares.
When Iglesias was grown, according to his parents’ wishes, he enrolled at the University of Miami as a business administration student, but his career goal since childhood was to become a singer. Iglesias spent his free time practicing singing with friends and, eventually, made a demo tape and sent it to recording studios. Iglesias, well aware of his father’s notoriety in the music industry, sent the audition tapes under the name of Enrique Martinez, in order to insure that he would be assessed on his own merit rather than on the basis of his famous father’s reputation. When executives at Fonovisa
Born Enrique Iglesias Preysler, May 8, 1975, in Madrid, Spain; son of Madrid Preysler (a journalist) and Julio Iglesias (a singer). Education: Attended University of Miami.
Signed with Fonovisa Records, 1994; released “Si Tu Te Vas (If You Leave)” (a single), fall 1995; released “Bailamos (We Dance)” his first English–language single, 1999; signed with Universal Music Group/Interscope, 1999.
Awards: Best Latin Pop Performance, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, 1997; American Music Award; Hot Latin Tracks Artist of the Year, Latin Music Awards, Billboard, 1997, 1998; Ace Award; Premios Lo Nuestro; Premios Eres.
Addresses: Record compary —Interscope Records, 10900 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90024, phone (310) 208–6547, fax (310) 208–7343.
Records heard Iglesias’s audition tape in 1994, they signed him to a contract to record three albums. He subsequently abandoned his studies at the university, to his father’s dismay, and it was only after the deal was finalized that Julio Iglesias learned of his son’s impending career as a recording artist. The younger Iglesias was nonetheless gratified in the knowledge that he secured the contract on his own initiative.
He set a bustling pace during the ensuing years and released six albums in less than five years, each of which sold in phenomenal numbers. A songwriter as well as a crooner, Iglesias wrote many of the songs that he recorded. Fonovisa released Iglesias’s debut album of romantic balladsin October of 1995. The Spanish–language album, entitled Enrique Iglesias, was a number one best seller in the Latin music arena and sold nearly three million copies within a matter of weeks. By the end of 1997 worldwide sales figures for the album were reported at six million copies, including sales of nearly one–and–one–half million copies in the United States alone.
The debut album featured a hit single, “Si Tu Te Vas (If You Leave),” that zoomed into a top–ten position on the record charts. Although Iglesias preferred to distance himself from the legacy of his father, it was an unavoidable issue for critics to compare the two; and comparisons resounded more freely because a song by the elder Iglesias was on the record charts simultaneously with that of the younger. Julio Iglesias’s song was far less popular, however, and held a slot at number 17 while “Si Tu Te Vas” held the number six position. In the light of critical comparison, Enrique Iglesias asserted that but for the surname and familial relationship, his own singing bore no resemblance to that of his father. Nevertheless, an undeniable reality surfaced—that both singers possessed extraordinary romantic appeal for female audiences. Belinda Luscombe of Time commented further that the father–and–son pair shared a “certain musk–scented vocal quality,” while the younger Iglesias struggled to assert himself as an individual. Peter Castro quoted him in People, “I’m very proud of my father, but when you read Bill boardnow, you see Enrique Iglesias.”
Enrique Iglesias’s second album, Vivir, was released in the fall of 1997 and sold four million copies by the end of that year, including 1.1 million in the United States. Also in 1997 Iglesias toured the Americas and Spain. His third album (and third Spanish–language release), Cosas Del Amor, appeared in music stores on September22, 1998. Despite his hesitation to record in English, Iglesias’s popularity suffered no handicap due to language barrier. He received extensive media coverage in the United States as well as in other non–Spanish–speaking countries. While the largest base of his popularity remained in Mexico and Argentina, he secured guest spots on both the “Late Show with David Letterman” and “Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” and released an Italian–language recording in 1996. By the time Iglesias released an English–language recording he had in fact made 190 television appearances in 23 countries and had sold 13 million albums worldwide.
Iglesias released “Bailamos (We Dance),” his first English–language release, in 1999 as part of the soundtrack to a movie starring Will Smith and Kevin Kline called Wild Wild West When Smith solicited a recorded contribution from Iglesias for the Overbrook/lnterscope movie soundtrack, Iglesias turned to an earlier recording that he had never released to any record label. Iglesias offered the recording to Universal Music Group/Interscope for the movie soundtrack and the record company not only liked the song, but proceeded to sign Iglesias to a six–album recording contract, including three Spanish albums and three in English. That episode was a milestone in Iglesias’s career, marking the point where he crossed over effectively from the Latino musical genre and into the generic popular styles. Additionally, the $44 million contract, for six albums, moved Iglesias into the forefront among the highest–paid Latino artist of the times. “Bailamos,” released as a single, rapidly sped its way to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in early September of 1999.
By the end of the decade, eleven of Iglesias’s single releases held a spot at number one among a totalof 19 countries. He secured 116 platinum records and 26 international awards, including a Grammy for Best Latin Pop Performance in 1997, plus an American Music Award; and he was a two–time recipient of Billboard’s Latin Music Award as the Hot Latin Tracks Artist of the Year. He was not yet 30, but his image had appeared on 250 magazine covers.
In 1998 Iglesias secured the title of People en Espanol’s “sexiest man,” yet for all his charm he maintained that he wrote his best song material when he was mooning over a romantic breakup. Although he earned a reputation as a sloppy dresser—complete with five–o’clock shadow and oftentimes grungy attire—press relations notwithstanding there was nothing that hampered his image as a ladies’ man. Iglesias’s managers meanwhile bemoaned the fact that their client was somewhat given to risk–taking, especially when he required 40 stitches in his head following a water–skiing accident in 1998 when he slammed into a mangrove tree.
Emphatic in his likes and dislikes, Iglesias professed that he harbored a sympathetic heartstring for Loony Tunes’ Wile E. Coyote, and Iglesias’s own personal taste in music runs to other popular singers including Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, and the group Dire Straits. He professed that his interest in women veers toward talent over beautiful looks. He openly shunned the playboy image that pursued his fatherovertheyears and aspired to settle into a comfortable and monogamous relationship. In response to the suggestion that Julio Iglesias and Enrique Iglesias might one day record a duet together, the latter responded without malice that he would prefer to sing in duet with pop star Michael Jackson.
“Si Tu Te Vas (If You Leave),” 1995.
“Experiencia Religiosa (Religious Experience),” 1996.
“Bailamos (We Dance),” Overbrook Music, August 10, 1999.
Enrique Iglesias (includes “Si Tu Te Vas”), Fonovisa, 1995.
Version En Italiano, Fonovisa, 1996.
Vivir, Fonovisa, 1997.
Cosas Del Amor, Fonovisa, 1998.
Bailamos, Fonovisa, 1999.
Enrique, Interscope Records, 1999.
Billboard, April 11, 1998; July 10, 1999; September 9, 1999; September 11, 1999.
Maclean’s, September 2, 1996.
People, April 22, 1996; May 11, 1998; August 16, 1999.
Rolling Stone, August 19, 1999.
Time, November 6, 1995.
Variety, December 8, 1997.
“About Enrique Iglesias,” http://www.enriqueiglesias.com/about1.htm (August 3, 1999).
“Enrique Iglesias,” http://rollingstone.tunes.com/sections/artists (August 13, 1999).
“Straight Talk: Advice from Enrique Iglesias,” http://www.usaweekend.com/97_issues/970601/970601talk_iglesias.html (August 3, 1999).
"Iglesias, Enrique." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/iglesias-enrique
"Iglesias, Enrique." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved April 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/iglesias-enrique