12 March 2018

Enrique Iglesias

Athletic and sexy Spanish singer Enrique Iglesias (1975) is widely regarded as the King of Latin Pop. He started his career in the mid-1990s and has since then sold over 159 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling Spanish artists ever. Iglesias also starred in the Western Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003).

Enrique Iglesias
Vintage postcard, no. 9354. On the postcard his name is misspelled as Iglasias.

Enrique Iglesias
Vintage card.

With money from his nanny

Enrique Miguel Iglesias Preysler was born in Madrid, Spain, in 1975. He is the third and youngest child of Spanish singer Julio Iglesias and Filipina socialite and magazine journalist Isabel Preysler. He was raised with two older siblings: Chabeli and Julio Jr. One of his mother Preysler's aunts is actress Neile Adams, the first wife of American actor Steve McQueen.

His parents divorced in 1979. At first, Iglesias and his two siblings stayed with their mother, but in 1986, Iglesias' grandfather, Dr. Julio Iglesias Puga, was kidnapped by the armed Basque terrorist group ETA. For their safety, Enrique and his brother Julio were sent to live with their father in Miami. There, they were brought up mostly by the nanny, Elvira Olivares, to whom he later dedicated his first album. Enrique also lived in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, for one year with his mother.

At the age of 15, he secretly began writing music. He studied business administration at the University of Miami for a year before he dropped out to pursue a musical career. Iglesias did not want his father to know about his plans for a musical career and did not want his famous surname to help advance his career. He borrowed money from his nanny and he recorded a demo cassette tape which consisted of a Spanish song and two English songs. Approaching his father's former publicist, Fernán Martínez, the two promoted the songs under the stage name 'Enrique Martínez' with the back story of being an unknown singer from Guatemala.

The 18-years-old Iglesias was signed on to Fonovisa Records and travelled to Toronto to record his first album. In 1995, he released Enrique Iglesias, a collection of light rock ballads, including hits such as Si Tú Te Vas and Experiencia Religiosa. This album sold half a million copies in its first week, and sold over a million copies in the next three months. The album went on to win Iglesias a Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Performance.

In 1995 he also appeared in a bit part in Robert Rodriguez's film Desperado (1995) with Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek. In 1997, Iglesias' stardom continued to rise with the release of Vivir (To Live), which put him up with other English language music superstars in sales for that year. The album also included a cover version of the Yazoo song Only You, translated into Spanish as Solo en Tí. Three singles released from Vivir (Enamorado Por Primera Vez, Sólo en Ti and Miente) topped the charts in several Spanish-speaking countries.

Along with his father and Luis Miguel, Iglesias was nominated for an American Music Award in the first-ever awarded category of Favourite Latin Artist. His first concert tour, that summer, Iglesias, backed by sidemen for Elton John, Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel, played to sold-out audiences in sixteen countries.

In 1998, Iglesias released his third album, Cosas del Amor (Things of Love). Taking a more mature musical direction, the album, aided by the popular singles Esperanza and Nunca Te Olvidaré, both of which topped the Latin singles chart, helped cement his status in the Latin music scene. He won an American Music Award in the category of Favourite Latin Artist against Ricky Martin and Chayanne.

Enrique Iglesias
Dutch postcard in the series Schoolcards by Boomerang, Amsterdam. Promotion card for the single Si Tu Te Vas of the album Enrique Ilglesias.

Enrique Iglesias
Vintage postcard, no. Art. 9143.

Strained relationship with his famous father

By 1999, Enrique Iglesias had begun a successful crossover career into the English language music market. Will Smith asked Iglesias to contribute to the soundtrack of his steampunk Western Wild Wild West (Barry Sonnenfeld, 1999). His contribution Bailamos was released as a single and became a number one hit in the US.

After weeks of negotiations, Iglesias signed a multi-album deal with Interscope. He recorded and released his first full CD in English, Enrique. It contained the song Rhythm Divine, a duet with Whitney Houston entitled Could I Have This Kiss Forever, and a cover of the Bruce Springsteen song Sad Eyes. In 2000, Iglesias performed at the Super Bowl XXXIV halftime show alongside Christina Aguilera, Phil Collins, and Toni Braxton. His single Be With You became Iglesias's second number one single on Billboard's Hot 100.

In 2000, Iglesias co-produced an off Broadway musical called Four Guys Named Jose and Una Mujer Named Maria . In the musical, four Americans of Latin heritage possess a common interest in music and meet and decide to put on a show. The show contained many references and allusions to classic and contemporary Latin and pop songs by the likes of Carmen Miranda, Selena, Ritchie Valens, Chayanne, Ricky Martin and Iglesias himself.

In 2001 Iglesias released his second English language album Escape. Where most of the Latin crossover acts of the previous year experienced some difficulty matching the record sales of their first English language albums, Iglesias actually went on to sell even more. The album's first single, Hero, became a number one hit in the United Kingdom, and in many other countries. The entire album was co-written by Iglesias. He capitalised on the album's success with his One-Night Stand World Tour consisting of fifty sold-out shows in sixteen countries.

In late 2001, Iglesias started dating tennis player Anna Kournikova. They reportedly split in October 2013 but have since reconciled. In 2002 Iglesias released a fourth Spanish-language album titled Quizás (Perhaps). A more polished musical production than his previous Spanish albums and containing more introspective songs, the album's title track is a song about the strained relationship Iglesias has with his famous father. The album debuted at number twelve on the Billboard 200 albums chart, the highest placement of a Spanish language album on the chart at the time. Quizás sold a million copies in a week, making it the fastest-selling album in Spanish in five years. The three singles released from the album all ended up topping the Latin chart, giving Iglesias a total of sixteen number ones on the chart.

Enrique Iglesias
Vintage postcard, no. 9317.

Enrique Iglesias
Vintage postcard, no. 9354.

Hollywood debut as a well-spoken gun-wielder

In 2003, Enrique Iglesias made his Hollywood debut. He starred alongside Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek and Johnny Depp in the Robert Rodriguez film Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003), in which he played the gun-wielding Lorenzo. Later, he also had guest acting roles in the TV series Two and a Half Men (2007), and How I Met Your Mother (2007).

Enrique Iglesias currently holds the record for the most number one singles on Billboard's Latin Chart. His last single from the album, Para Qué La Vida, reached a million spins on U.S. radio. By 2003 Iglesias released his seventh album, which he called 7, the second which he co-wrote. Among its more 1980s-inspired material, it features the song Roamer, which he wrote with his friend and longtime guitarist, Tony Bruno. With this album, Iglesias went on his biggest world tour to date.

After a two-year hiatus, Iglesias released the album Insomniac in 2007. The album was so named due to it being recorded mainly at night. The album contained a more contemporary pop style than that of previous albums. The first single, Do You Know?, was Iglesias's highest charting song on the Billboard Hot 100 since Escape. The song was also a hit throughout Europe, peaking in the top 10 in many countries.

In 2008, Enrique Iglesias did the official song for UEFA Europa League 2008, Can You Hear Me, which he sang at the soccer league's finale. In 2010, he released his ninth studio album, Euphoria, for Universal Republic. The single Tonight (I'm F**kin' You) broke into the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching no. 4. In 2014, he released his tenth studio album, Sex and Love. His latest hit is Bailando ft. Sean Paul, Descemer Bueno, and Gente De Zona. Bailando got him 3 Latin Grammys ten years after his album, Euphoria received a nomination.

In total Enrique Iglesias has won more than 200 awards from various ceremonies including 23 Billboard Music Awards and 36 Billboard Latin Music Awards, as well as 8 American Music Awards, 1 Grammy and 5 Latin Grammy. Stephen Thomas Erlewine at AllMusic: “There was no bigger star in Latin music in the first part of the 21st century than Enrique Iglesias.”

Trailer Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003). Source: Which-Movie.net (YouTube).

Clip of Bailando (English Version) ft. Sean Paul, Descemer Bueno, Gente De Zona. Source: Enrique Iglesias VEVO (YouTube).

Sources: Stephen Thomas Erlewine (AllMusic), Wikipedia and IMDb.

No comments: