Julio Iglesias Biography
Iglesias was born Julio Jose Iglesias de la Cueva on September 23, 1943 in Madrid. He is the son of Julio Iglesias, Sr., a medical doctor from Ourense who became one of the youngest gynecologists in the country, and María del Rosario de la Cueva y Perignat (1919-2002). Iglesias' paternal ancestry comes from Galicia,his paternal grandparents were named Manuela Puga Noguerol and Ulpiano Iglesias Sarria. His maternal grandparents were José de la Cueva y Orejuela (1887-1955), and Dolores de Perignat y Ruiz de Benavides,who was a native of Puerto Rico. Iglesias is of Jewish ancestry from his maternal side, having mentioned his mother's name "de la Cueva y Perignat" (literally "of the cave"), referring to Jewish people in hiding, is a very common Jewish name. He alternated playing professional football with studying law at the CEU San Pablo University in Madrid. In the earliest years of his young adulthood, he was a goalkeeper for Real Madrid Castilla. His professional football career ended when he had a serious car accident, due to which he was unable to walk for two years. Afterwards, he said of those years, "I had more courage and attitude than talent." These were sorely tested when he was involved in that car crash that smashed his lower spine; his legs were permanently weakened as a direct result, and they still required therapy several years later. During his hospitalization after the accident, a nurse gave him a guitar that he might have something to do with his hands. In learning to play, he discovered his musical talent. After his rehabilitation, Iglesias studied for three months at Bell Educational Trust's Language School in Cambridge, UK. After that, he went back to obtain his law degree at Complutense University of Madrid.
In 1968 he won the Benidorm International Song Festival, a songwriter's event in Spain, with the song "La vida sigue igual" (meaning "Life Goes On The Same") which was used in the film La vida sigue igual, about his own life. After this event he signed a deal with Discos Columbia, the Spanish branch of the Columbia Records company and released his first studio album titled "Yo Canto" (I Sing). The album spent 15 weeks in the Spanish charts, and peaked at #3. He represented Spain in the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest, finishing in fourth place, behind Ireland's winning entry performed by Dana. His entry was the song "Gwendolyne." Shortly after he had a number one hit in many European countries with "Un Canto A Galicia", sung in Galician, in honour of his father, who hailed from Galicia. That single sold 1 million copies in Germany. In 1975 he found success in the Italian market by recording a song exclusively in Italian called "Se mi lasci non vale" ("If You Leave Me, It Can't Be"). Notable albums from this decade are A Flor de Piel (1974, with the European hit "Manuela"), "El Amor" (1975), and "Soy" (1973). He also sang in French. One of his popular songs is "Je n'ai pas changé".
In 1979 he moved to Miami, Florida, in the United States, signed a deal with CBS International, and started singing in different languages such as English, French, Portuguese, German and other languages to his music. Iglesias released the album, De Niña a Mujer (1981), dedicated to his daughter (who shared the cover photo with him), from it came the first English-language hit, a Spanish cover of "Begin the Beguine" which became number 1 in the United Kingdom; he also released a collection, Julio (1983). In 1984, he released 1100 Bel Air Place, the hit album which established him as a star in the English-speaking entertainment industry. It sold over three million albums in the United States alone. The first single "To All the Girls I've Loved Before", a duet with Willie Nelson, hit #1 on the Country charts and went Top Five in the Billboard Hot 100. It also featured "All of You", with Diana Ross, a Top Twenty Pop hit, that climbed to #2 on the Adult Contemporary Chart with the help of a popular video.
Iglesias made a cameo appearance as himself, on The Golden Girls as Sophia Petrillo's date on St. Valentine's Day 1989. In 1984 he recorded the previously mentioned duets with Diana Ross and Willie Nelson. Iglesias won a Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Album in the 1988 Grammy Awards for the album Un Hombre Solo (A Man Alone). He recorded a duet with Stevie Wonder on "My Love", in his Non Stop album, a crossover success in 1988. In the 1990s Iglesias returned to his original Spanish melody in Tango (1996), nominated for Best Latin Pop Album at the 1998 Grammy Awards, losing to the Romances album by Mexican singer, Luis Miguel.
In 2003 he released his album Divorcio (Divorce). In its first day of sales Divorcio sold a record 350,000 albums in Spain, and reached the number 1 spot on the charts in Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, and Russia. In 2003 and 2004, aided by the success of his Divorcio album, Iglesias went on a ten-month world tour which took him from Europe to Asia and then on to North America, South America and Africa. More than half the shows on that tour sold out within days of going on sale. In December 2004, his Dutch girlfriend Miranda Rijnsburger and Iglesias himself recorded a duet of the Christmas song "Silent Night". The song, which was not officially released, also included a voice message from Iglesias, Rijnsburger and their 4 young children of that time. The song was released online through the singer's official website and a CD was included on their Christmas card as a holiday gift from the Iglesias family to their friends and fans around the world.
In 2008 Iglesias recorded another song as a gift to his fans. The family recorded "The Little Drummer Boy" in Spanish and English and included it in the family's Christmas card. Iglesias also made investments in the Dominican Republic's eastern town of Punta Cana, a major tourist destination, where he spends most of the year. In fact, he has been a Dominican citizen since 2005.
When not on tour he spends the rest of his time at his Miami residence. The south Florida mansion on the exclusive, private, Indian Creek Island property was placed on the market in 2006 for a quoted $28 million, making it one of "Ten Most Expensive Homes in the South" in 2006 according to Forbes magazine.
In September 2006 a new English album titled Romantic Classics was released. "I've chosen songs from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s that I believe will come to be regarded as the new standards", Iglesias stated in the album's sleeve notes. The album features the hits "I Want to Know What Love Is", "Careless Whisper", and "Right Here Waiting". Romantic Classics was Iglesias's highest debut on the Billboard charts, entering at number 31 in the United States, 21 in Canada, 10 in Australia, and top spots across Europe and Asia. He returned to the studio to record songs in Filipino and Indonesian for his Asian releases of Romantic Classics which helped propel record sales in the Asian entertainment industry. Iglesias promoted Romantic Classics in 2006; it was seen all over the world on television shows. In the United States (for example) he appeared on Dancing With The Stars (where he sang his hit "I Want To Know What Love Is"), Good Morning America, The View, Fox and Friends, and Martha Stewart.
In 2008 Iglesias made a music video with Gulnara Karimova, the daughter of Uzbek dictator Islam Karimov.
In 2008, after his house in Indian Creek did not sell at his asking price, he razed it to the ground and said he planned to build another next to that property. In 2012 he purchased the empty lot and announced he planned to build another home.
In March 2011 the artist launched a new studio album called Numero 1.
Iglesias' performance of the song La Mer ("The Sea") is featured in the soundtrack of the 2011 film Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (film). The performance comes from a live album, currently out-of-print, recorded live at the Olympia theater in Paris in 1976. At the beginning and the end of the recording, Iglesias introduces the song, and his backing musicians, in fluent French.
In October 2012 Iglesias performed a concert in Equatorial Guinea, where tickets were reportedly $1,000 each.
On April 1, 2013, in Beijing, he received two historic awards: First & Most Popular International Artist of All Time in China, an award given by Sony Music China and which was presented to Julio by the world-renowned Chinese artist Lang Lang, and the Guinness World Records for the Best-selling Male Latin Artist. On April 23, 2013, he was inducted into the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame, alongside Armando Manzanero and José Feliciano.
In 2015, he will perform a concert (complete show) for the first time with his son Julio Iglesias, Jr. in a tour in Romania, on 22 May at Sala Polivalentă in Cluj-Napoca and 2 July at Sala Palatului in the capital Bucharest.