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Huey Dunbar: 1974—: Singer - Launched Solo Career

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By the time DLG earned its second Billboard Latin Music Award, the group had already disbanded so that Dunbar could pursue a solo career. The split was amicable and Dunbar immediately went back into the studio with George, who was producing his debut solo effort. The result, Yo Si Me Enamore, took nine months to make, in part because Dunbar was intent on forging ahead with new sounds, just as he had with DLG. "The reason why I left DLG and broke up the group is because I couldn't grow anymore within the confines of that style and I was desiring to do more things," he explained in an interview with the Salsa Wild website. The album reflected this outlook, with a Billboard review noting of its eclectic style, "Dunbar sings ballads, salsa, and even pop in what's probably a ploy to straddle all radio formats. In the end, the results are good enough to work." Dunbar also transformed his image for his solo debut, going from his formerly multicolored hair styles and streetwise attire—which earned him comparisons to Dennis Rodman—to a much more sophisticated and suave look for his new album's cover.

Released in 2001, Yo Si Me Enamore hit number one on Billboard's Tropical/Salsa chart and earned a gold record for Dunbar by selling over a half-million copies. Dunbar also had the biggest hit single of his career to date, with the ballad "Con Cada Beso" hitting the top five on the Hot Latin Tracks chart in Billboard. Following on the heels of Yo Se Me Enamore, Dunbar announced plans for an English-language album. He hoped that the release would broaden the fan base of Latin music beyond its traditional confines of Spanish-language listeners. As he explained in an interview with the Salsa Wild website, "The next step is to take it to the next level and take it to the rest of the world. Take our music to the rest of the people in a way that they can understand it and appreciate it even more.… It's not the American public's responsibility to learn Spanish to listen to my music. It's my job to go out there and offer my perspective of Latin music to the American markets and that's what I want to do."


Discography

(with DLG) Dark Latin Groove, 1996.

(with DLG) Swing On, 1997.

(with DLG) Gotcha, 1999.

(with DLG) Greatest Hits, 2000.

(solo) Yo Si Me Enamore, 2001.


Sources

Books


Broughton, Simon, and Mark Ellingham, eds., World Music: The Rough Guide Volume 2, Rough Guides, 2000.

Periodicals


Billboard, September 27, 1997, p. 8; November 1, 1997, p. 1; April 29, 2000, p. LM-8; March 10, 2001, p. 32.

Latinia, August 2000, p. 78.

New York Times, May 28, 1996, p. C11; February 8. 1998, p. E1.


On-line


"DLG," All Music Guide, www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll (March 29, 2003).

"DLG: 'Gotcha'," MusicaVirtual, www.musicavirtual. com/dlg.html (April 2, 2003).

"Huey Dunbar," All Music Guide, www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll (March 29, 2003).

"Huey Dunbar," Recording Industry Association of America, www.riaa.com (April 1, 2003).

"Huey Dunbar," Sony Discos, http://www.sonydiscos.com/discos/content.nsf/bio/20010314045826_79?Open&language=english (March 29, 2003).

"Huey Dunbar, Un innovador de la Salsa," America Salsa, www.americasalsa.com/entrevistamx/huey_ dunbar.html (April 1, 2003).

"Interview: Huey Dunbar," Salsawild, www.salsawild. com/salseros-report/interviews/huey-interview.htm (April 2, 2003).

—Timothy Borden

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