Though you have undoubtedly heard the name of Enrique Iglesias there is a good chance that you have no idea who he is, other than the fact that he is a singer. Actually, Enrique Iglesias is a Spanish singer, having been born in Madrid Spain to the Spanish singer Julio Iglesias and magazine journalist Isabel Preysler. He has a massive family, though his parents divorced in 1979. In the beginning, Iglesias and his two siblings remained with their mother, however in 1986, his grandfather was kidnapped by a terrorist group and in the interest of their safety, they were sent to live in Miami. Raised mostly by their nanny, Elvira Olivares, Enrique would later dedicate his very first album to her. In his formative years, he attended the Gulliver Preparatory School, and would then study business at the University of Miami. Though Enrique had plans for a musical career, he did not want to let his father in on the process and was concerned that his surname would actually help advance his career, which he did not want. Instead, he hoped to succeed on his own merit. That being the case, he made the choice to borrow money from the family nanny, and he recorded a demo cassette tape that contained a Spanish song and two English songs. He used his father’s former publicist Fernan Martinez to promote the songs using the stage name Enrique Martinez. He led everyone to believe that he was an unknown singer from Guatemala, and under his own merit, did manage to work out a deal with Fonovisa Records. He dropped out of college and made the trip to Toronto to record his first album.
1995–96: Enrique Iglesias On July 12, 1995, Iglesias released Enrique Iglesias, a collection of light rock ballads, including hits such as "Si Tú 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, going Gold in Portugal within the first week of release, and sold over a million copies in the next three months. His song "Por Amarte" was included in Televisa's telenovela Marisol, but with a twist: instead of Por amarte daría mi vida (To love you, I'd give my life), the words were Por amarte Marisol, moriría (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 Mí", and "Trapecista" topped the Billboard's Latin charts. The album went on to win Iglesias a Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Performance. Throughout his career, Enrique won a total of 16 Billboard Music Awards, 36 Billboard Latin Music Awards, 1 Grammy, 4 Latin Grammies, and 10 World Music Awards. In the year 2000, he was awarded Most Fashionable Artist at the VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards. He won a number of other awards throughout his career. In fact, he won an award for Most Successful Spanish Artist of the Decade at Premios Ondas in 2002. That, in itself, is an impressive feat.
Most Known For
While singing is most arguably his forte, Iglesias is well known for his work in several charity projects including, first of all, download to Donate, started by Music For Relief. He co-produced the album “Download to Donate for Haiti, a charity album for an earthquake that shook Haiti in 2010. This album has collaborated with Mike Shinoda, both of which promoted the album at different venues. True to form, Iglesias urged his fans and followers to donate money through the American Red Cross in the interest of helping victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The typhoon in question had horrible timing as it struck literally one month following a 7.2 magnitude earthquake which destroyed the homes of nearly 350,000 people. In addition to those causes, Iglesias has supported the following:
- City of Hope
- Habitat for Humanity
- Help for Heroes
- Live Earth
- Muscular Dystrophy Association
- Special Olympics
- Music for Relief
- Salvation Army
- Hunger Relief
Where Is He Now?
Enrique is still recording music and supporting worthy causes. Additionally, he uses social media to keep in touch with his fans, from Facebook to Twitter, and even Instagram. He has achieved success but seems to have remembered well that the fans make him who he is, at least as far as his fame is concerned.