Enrique Miguel Iglesias Preysler (born on May 8, 1975 Madrid, Spain), better known as Enrique Iglesias, is a Spanish singer, songwriter and actor.
Iglesias started his musical career with Mexican indie label Fonovisa, which helped turn him into one of the most popular artists in Latin America and in the Latino market in the United States, selling more Spanish language albums than any other artist in that period of time.
Before the turn of the millennium he made a crossover into the mainstream English language market, signing a unique multi-album deal with Universal Music for an unprecedented $48,000,000, with Universal Music Latino to release his Spanish albums and Interscope to release English albums.
Iglesias has sold over 60 million records worldwide, he has won a Grammy and Latin Grammy and has had two Billboard Hot 100 #1s and one #3, and holds the record for producing 19 number #1 Spanish-language singles on the Billboards Hot Latin Tracks.
Early life and career
Iglesias was born in Madrid, the third and final child of Spanish singer Julio Iglesias and Filipina socialite and magazine journalist Isabel Preysler. He is of Filipino and Spanish descent. His parents divorced in 1978, and the following year their father moved to Miami, Florida to continue with his musical career.
In 1985, Iglesias' grandfather, Dr. Julio Iglesias Puga was kidnapped by the terrorist group ETA. Fearing for his grandchildren's safety, Enrique and his brother were sent to live with their father in Miami. He also lived in Belgrade, Serbia for one year with his mother, who worked as a journalist. As his father's career kept him on the road, the young Iglesias was raised by the family nanny. In 1993 he graduated from Gulliver Preparatory School, and went on to study business at the University of Miami.
Enrique 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. Citing his early inspiration from his teenage lover, Christie Debler, Iglesias borrowed money from his family nanny, and he recorded a demo tape which consisted of one Spanish song and two English songs. Approaching his father's former publicist Fernan Martinez, the two shopped the demo tape under the stage name 'Enrique Martinez' with the backstory of being an unknown from Guatemala. Iglesias was signed by a then small indie record label called Fonovisa. Dropping out of college he went to Toronto, Ontario, Canada for six months to record his first album.
1995-1997 Enrique Iglesias
Main article: Enrique Iglesias
July 12, 1995, Iglesias released his first album titled Enrique Iglesias, a collection of light rock ballads, including such mega-hits as "Si T? Te Vas", "Experiencia Religiosa", and others. The record sold half a million copies in its first week, a rare accomplishment then for an album recorded in a language other than English.
His song "Por Amarte" was included in Televisa's telenovela Marisol, but with a twist: instead of Por amarte dar?a mi vida (To love you, I'd give my life), the words were Por amarte Marisol, morir?a (To love you, Marisol, I'd die). The CD also yielded Italian and Portuguese editions of the album, with most of the songs translated into those languages.
Five singles released from this album, such as "Por Amarte", "No Llores Por M?", and "Trapecista" topped the Latin charts. The album went on to win Iglesias a Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Performance.
Main article: Vivir
In 1997, Iglesias' star 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 T?".
Insisting on stadiums, that summer, Enrique, backed by sidemen for Elton John, Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel, played to sold-out audiences in sixteen countries. Beginning the tour in Odessa, Texas the tour went on to three consecutive nights in Mexico's Plaza de Toros, two consecutive nights at Monterrey's Auditorio Coca Cola and two at the Estadio River Plate in Buenos Aires, Argentina to over 130,000 people as well as 19 arenas in the U.S. Three singles released from Vivir ("Enamorado Por Primera Vez", "S?lo en Ti" and "Miente") topped the Latin singles chart as well as those 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 Favorite Latin Artist. It was said beforehand that the elder Iglesias would walk out if he did not win the award. Iglesias lost out to his father, but did perform the song "Lluvia Cae" at the event.
Enrique has been known to say his favorite song in the Album is the title Miente.
1998-1999 Cosas del Amor
Main article: Cosas del Amor
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 Olvidar?", both of which topped the Latin singles chart, helped cement his status in the Latin music scene.
Iglesias did a short tour of smaller venues to accompany the release of the album, with one show being televised from Acapulco, Mexico. This was followed by a larger world tour of over eighty shows in even bigger venues. The Cosas del Amor Tour was the first ever concert tour sponsored by McDonald's.
He won an American Music Award in the category of Favorite Latin Artist against Ricky Martin and Los Tigres del Norte. The song "Nunca te Olvidar?" was also used as the theme music for a Spanish soap opera of the same name and he sang the song himself on the last episode of the series.
Main article: Enrique
By 1999, Iglesias had begun a successful crossover career into the English language music market. Thanks to other successful crossover acts, most notably that of Ricky Martin, Latino artists and music had a great surge in popularity in mainstream music. Iglesias' contribution to the soundtrack of Will Smith's movie Wild Wild West, "Bailamos" became a number one hit in the US.
After the success of "Bailamos", several mainstream record labels were eager to sign Enrique. Signing a multi-album deal after weeks of negotiations with Interscope, Iglesias recorded and released his first full CD in English, Enrique. Rapper Gerardo Mejia, who was the A & R Executive of Interscope at the time, was specifically responsible for bringing Enrique to the United States and successfully launching Iglesias' American career. The pop album, with some Latin influences, took two months to complete and contained a duet with Whitney Houston called "Could I Have This Kiss Forever" and a cover of the Bruce Springsteen song "Sad Eyes". The album's third single, "Be With You", became his second number one.
The final single from the album was the song "You're My #1", re-recorded and released in selected territories as a duet with local acts - Alsou in Russia, Sandy & Junior in Brazil and Valen Hsu in Asia.
Main article: Escape
Iglesias followed up in 2001 with the 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.
Escapehe is the biggest commercial success to date. The singles "Escape" and "Don't Turn Off the Lights" became radio staples, fairing well and placing highly or topping various charts both in North America and elsewhere. A second edition of the album was released internationally and contained a new version of one of Enrique's favorite tracks, "Maybe", as well as a duet with Lionel Richie called "To Love a Woman".
Iglesias capitalized on the album's success with his "One-Night Stand World Tour" consisting of 50 sold-out shows in 16 countries. Including Radio City Music Hall and three consecutive nights in London's Royal Albert Hall, the tour ended with a big show at Stadium National Lia Manoliu in Bucharest, Romania. The concert launched MTV Romania, with the video for "Love to See You Cry" being the first to be shown on the channel.
The second leg of the tour, "Don't Turn Off the Lights", was completed in the summer of 2002, with two sold-out nights in Madison Square Garden and another two in Mexico's National Auditorium. The tour finished with a single show in the Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Main article: Quiz?s
In 2002, Iglesias chose to release a fourth Spanish-language album titled Quiz?s (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 12 on the ] albums chart, the highest placement of a Spanish language album on the chart at the time. Quiz?s sold a million copies in a week, making it the fastest-selling album in Spanish in 5 years. The three singles released from the album all ended up topping the Latin chart, giving Iglesias a total of 16 number ones on the chart. He currently holds the record for the most number one singles on Billboard's Latin Chart. His last single from the album, "Para Que la Vida", reached a million spins on U.S. radio, the only Spanish language song to do so.
The video to the song "Quiz?s" was the first Spanish language music video to be added to the selection on MTV's popular show Total Request Live. Iglesias performed the song on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, becoming the first to sing a Spanish song on the show, and opening doors for other artists such as Ricky Martin, Juanes and Jorge Drexler to perform their Spanish material. Iglesias included songs from Quiz?s in his "Don't Turn Off the Lights Tour", and the album went on to win a Latin Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album.
Main article: 7
In 2003, Iglesias released his seventh album, which he called 7, the second to be co-written by Iglesias. Among its more 1980s-inspired material, it features the song "Roamer", which he wrote with his friend and longtime guitarist, Tony Bruno. The CD also contained the song "Be Yourself", a song about independence (the chorus talks about how Iglesias' own parents didn't believe he'd ever succeed in his singing career). The first single was the song "Addicted", and was followed closely by a remix of the song "Not in Love", featuring Kelis.
With this album, Iglesias went on his biggest world tour to date. The highly publicised tour started with twelve shows in the United States ending with Iglesias playing at Houston Rodeo and continued on to several countries, most of which he'd never previously visited playing to sold-out arenas and stadiums in Australia, India, Egypt and Singapore before ending his tour in South Africa.
2004-2006 Post 7 activities
While recording new material Iglesias usually forgoes public appearances but during this period he made a number of guest appearances in the media. He was a guest on Oprah Winfrey's talk show, surprising one of his fans and spending the day with her. He also appeared at the Premios Juventud and was a musical guest on the final broadcast of Diego Maradona's television show in Argentina and few days later performed at a Christmas concert in support of the Special Olympics.
Iglesias has also attended various promotional events for the Tommy Hilfiger fragrance called True Star Men, which he is endorsing. Enrique stars in the commercial for the fragrance itself with the theme song "Ring My Bells" which was a track on his the forthcoming album. Iglesias also appeared on the season finale of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition singing a song called "Somebody's Me", also from his latest album.
Enrique Iglesias on stage in Israel.
More recently, Iglesias has also performed live in one-off concerts in Italy, Uruguay and Israel, as well as performing at a festival for MTV in M?laga alongside Paulina Rubio and has completed a series of concerts in the States. The "For the Fans Tour" featured much of his older repertoire as well as new songs in both English and Spanish. Iglesias appeared on the May 7, 2007 episode of CBS' Two and a Half Men as 'Fernando' the Handyman.
The first single, "Do You Know? (The Ping Pong Song)" from his new album Insomniac released on June 12 was premiered on Ryan Seacrest's radio show on KIIS-FM on Tuesday, April 10, 2007. Enrique performed "Do You Know?" for the first time as well as "Hero" for a live taping of the U.S. series of Dancing with the Stars.
Main article: Insomniac
Iglesias released his new album Insomniac on June 12, 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 with many of the tracks being described as R&B. Among the albums highlights include "Push", a hip-hop-flavored collaboration with rapper Lil' Wayne, as well as "Ring My Bells", and a cover of Ringside's "Tired of Being Sorry".
The first single "Do You Know? (The Ping Pong Song)" became a worldwide hit peaking in the top 10 several countries and reaching #1 in many. The Spanish version of the song entitled "Dimelo" was #1 on Bilboard's Hot Latin Tracks for eleven unconsecutive weeks becoming one of his best performing songs on the chart.
Iglesias followed up with the ballad "Somebody's Me" which was released as a single in the American Continent. The song was played extensively on AC radio with the song peaking high on Billboard's Hot AC and the Spanish version also performing well on the charts. The song was featured on the soap The Young and the Restless and Iglesias performed the track on the show. In Europe, the second single was "Tired of Being Sorry" which was a success in many countries. Recently Iglesias has recorded a version of the song with French singer N?diya which has reached #1 in France.
On July 4, Enrique Iglesias became the first Western artist to play a concert in Syria in three decades when he performed for a sold-out crowd of 10,000 in the capital city of Damascus and in the same week performed on Live Earth. He would also make a second appearance The Royal Variety Performance.
The Insomniac World Tour was launched at the Dome in Johannesburg, South Africa, the same venue he ended his last world Tour and took him to sold out arenas throughout Europe. It was his first arena tour of the UK with him playing venues such as Manchester's MEN Arena and Wembley Arena. The tour ended with Iglesias performing at newly opened L.A. Live at the Nokia theatre in LA. A second leg of the tour has taken him throughout Latin America from Mexico to Argentina. His concert at Belfast's Odyssey Arena was filmed for MSN Control Room and has been broadcast on television.
The song "Push" was added to the soundtrack of the movie Step Up 2 the Streets albeit without Li'l Wayne. The song was regarded as the third single from the album. A music video was shot which features the film's lead actors. Despite never being officially added to radio the song has charted in several countries and is one of his most highly rated songs amongst fans.
Enrique's song "Can You Hear Me" has been chosen as the official song of the UEFA Euro 2008 football tournament. He performed the song live at the June 29, 2008 final in Vienna, Austria. The song featured on a re-issue of the Insomniac album being released in certain countries.
2008 Spanish Greatest Hits album: 1 95/08
Main article: Enrique Iglesias: 95/08 Exitos
Enrique released a Spanish Greatest Hits album on March 25, 2008 which included his seventeen #1 songs on Hot Latin Tracks chart, plus two new songs. The first single was the song "?D?nde Est?n Coraz?n?", which is written by Argentine star Coti and became Iglesias's 18th #1 single on Billbooards Hot Latin Songs. The album debuted at #1 on Billboard's Latin Album Charts and #18 on Billboard's top 200 Album chart. It was Enrique's second Spanish Album to debut in the top 20 Billboard's Top 200 Albums (Quiz?s debuted at 12 in 2002). The album has been recently certified double platinum in the U.S. and in some Latin American countries.
The album's second single "Lloro Por Ti" has an official remix featuring "Wisin y Yandel". After being in the top 10 on the Hot Latin Tracks for nearly two months, the track hit number one on November 8 and then remained in the top for 2 weeks, becoming Iglesias's 19th #1 single on Billbooards Hot Latin Songs. Iglesias included both new songs in his arena tour of the US. Beginning in Laredo, Texas and ending at the Izod Center in New Jersey he was accompanied though most of the tour with Bachata band Aventura who also performed "Lloro Por Ti" with him at the Premios Juventud.
Iglesias was a surprise performer at the Lo Nuestro Awards, opening the show with a medley of "?D?nde Est?n Coraz?n?" and "D?melo". He also performed at the Billboard Latin Music Awards, where he received a special award.
Iglesias performed for the second consecutive year for 40,000 people at the Isle of MTV 2008 at the Floriana granaries, Malta, on June 25, 2008, with free entrance. It was on this visit, his second as he'd headlined the event the year before, that the mayor of Valletta presented Iglesias with honorary citizenship of Malta..
2009 Enrique Iglesias: Greatest Hits
Main article: Greatest Hits (Enrique Iglesias album)
After the success of his Spanish Greatest Hits compilation, Iglesias released a compilation of his English language hits on November 11.
The compilation includes English hit songs such as "Bailamos", "Hero", "Be With You", "Not In Love" and "Escape" which have topped the various Billboard Charts (two of which on Hot 100) as well as songs such as Rhythm Divine, Tired Of Being Sorry and Do You Know (The ping pong song) which have also topped charts in Europe.
The album includes "Can You Hear Me" as well two new songs. The first single "Away" ft Sean Garrett was met with disapointing results but the second single "Takin' Back My Love" which was produced by RedOne and featured R&B/Pop singer Ciara was met with much better results and became one of the biggest worldwide hits in Iglesias's career.
Enrique completed another tour in April through to July of this year. The Greatest hits tour started in started in Mexico but went on to Europe beginning in Qatar and ended in Belgrade including six dates in the Uk and Ireland. This tour had support acts Esmee Denters and Alesha Dixon.
At the moment Enrique is working on new album which he hopes will be in both English and Spanish.
Songwriting, producing, and acting
Iglesias has collaborated with songwriter Guy Chambers to write "Un Nuovo Giorno", the lead single from Andrea Bocelli's first pop album. The song was later translated into English as "First Day of My Life" and recorded by Spice Girl Melanie C. The song has since gone to become a huge hit throughout Europe, and peaked in the number one spot in numerous countries. Iglesias also wrote the single "The Way" for American Idol runner up Clay Aiken. Four songs co-written by Iglesias appear on the UK band The Hollies' current album. Many times Iglesias has said that should he ever retire, he wants to write and produce songs for other artists.
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 many classic and contemporary Latin and pop songs by the likes of Carmen Miranda, Selena, Ritchie Valens, Santana, Ricky Martin and Iglesias himself.
Iglesias also developed an interest in acting, starring alongside Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek and Johnny Depp in the Robert Rodriguez film Once Upon a Time in Mexico, in which he played the foul-mouthed gun-wielding Lorenzo. In 2007, he had a cameo role in the TV comedy Two and a Half Men, starring Charlie Sheen. He says that he would act again if given small roles that he could fit in between his musical commitments.
He also guest starred as Gael, an Argentinean guitar playing/surfer/massage therapist love interest on the CBS TV show How I Met Your Mother.
Iglesias also played the part of an evil Roman emperor in an ambitious TV commercial for Pepsi, which sponsored his last world tour. He starred alongside Britney Spears, Beyonc? and Pink, who turn the tables on him in the commercial.
From the beginning of his career Iglesias's public image has been that of a heartthrob with a lot of his early music videos portrayed him as a boy next door. This image proved instantly popular with fans, and after Iglesias's first television performance he was mobbed by crowds of young girls and he had to resort to lying on the floor of a taxi to leave the studio undetected.
This would become the norm for Iglesias when promoting his music but reached fever pitch In 1999 in support of the Cosas Del Amor album Iglesias visited Chile to perform at Vi?a del Mar International Song Festival. His visit to the country was highly publicised for the Beatlemania-esque reaction it caused, with thousands of young girls packing the streets of the airport and outside Iglesias's hotel. Iglesias drew record crowds to the event and received much praise for his set.
His visit to the festival the following year however would be remembered for much different reasons. When presented with the award called La Gaviota, Iglesias lightly tossed the award into the first few rows of the audience. At first this evoked no visible reaction from the audience but when the presenter expressed offense and demanded that the award be passed back the crowd reacted negatively. The next day the media reacted negatively to what was seen as a slight by Iglesias, at a press conference Iglesias explained that he meant to show that the award was for his fans. Despite continued strong sales in Latin America, Iglesias has never been invited back to the Festival and the incident is often brought up when he visits Chile.
In June 2000, radio personality Howard Stern received a tape of a supposedly off-key MP3 of Iglesias singing, along to the track "Rhythm Divine". Stern played this humorous clip throughout the week on his radio show insinuating that Iglesias lip synched and couldn't sing well outside the studio, even suggesting that Iglesias himself did not sing on his albums, comparing him to Milli Vanilli. Iglesias flew straight in to New York from Italy where he had just performed with Pavarotti, and appeared on Stern's show, singing acoustic versions of "Rhythm Divine" and "Be with You", after which Stern told Iglesias he had silenced his critics. Iglesias would go on to say that controversy and his appearance on the show was the best promotion he could have.
Since the beginning of his career the media have linked Iglesias to many women, though due to his generally private nature it is difficult to know which claims are true and which are fabrications. Most notably Iglesias has been linked with Sofia Vergara, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Shannon Elizabeth, Samantha Torres, and the ex Miss Universe Alicia Machado for a brief period.
For seven years now he publicly has dated tennis star Anna Kournikova, whom he met on the set of his music video Escape, in December 21, 2001. Many reports showed up since 2007 of their splitting. In 2008, after Enrique made a publicity joke, there were reports of the couple's having been married formerly and now divorced. Enrique has stated subsequently in interviews that it was simply a joke, and that they are still very much together.
Iglesias has publicly stated he suffers from insomnia, and that even heavy-duty sleep aids often do not work for him.
In 2003, Iglesias had his trademark facial mole removed.
Awards and nominations
Main article: List of Enrique Iglesias awards