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Enrique Iglesias: 1975—: Singer, Songwriter

Earned Recognition Through "latin Explosion"

Like fellow pop stars Ricky Martin and Marc Anthony, Iglesias established himself in the Spanish-language market before releasing his first English-language album. Iglesias and other rising stars appealed to a new generation of Spanish-speaking youth. Many of these young people's parents had grown up listening to Julio Iglesias. "It had gotten to the point in the Latino music market where it wasn't cool for the young kids to listen to it, " Iglesias told Richard Harrington of Newsday. "We had a lot of great singers, but they were in their 40s and 50s. Suddenly you start getting a bunch of young Latino singers, and then the young listeners started getting into it." In an interview with MTV, he added, " I'd be in an American restaurant and suddenly the people that did the valet parking, the people in the kitchen, who were Spanish or Mexican or Puerto Rican would be like, 'Can I have your autograph? ' All the Americans would be like, 'Who the hell is that?'"

Then, in 1999, the commercial breakthrough year for Latin music, Iglesias and other Spanish-speaking artists soared to the top of the pop charts, prompting some observers to speak of a "Latin Explosion." Iglesias, however, disliked the term. "I'm proud of who I am and where I come from," he said in an interview with MTV. "The only word I don't like there is 'explosion,' because when there is an explosion it's not bound to last too long. I think it all comes down to the artist and the song"

The young pop star also disliked the term "crossover," widely used to describe Spanish-speaking singers who moved into the English-language market. "'Crossover' ….what does it mean?" he mused to Mercedes Garcia-Aguilar of CD Now. "I grew up listening to English pop and rock, and I feel comfortable singing in the English language."

Although sometimes compared to fellow Latin pop star Ricky Martin, Iglesias has become recognized for certain qualities of his own, including a "raspy baritone, " flamenco dance rhythms, and ballads bearing the influence of American rock bands such as Journey and Foreigner. One of those ballads, "Hero," was written as a love song but acquired special significance in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks. "I'm nothing like him!" Iglesias said about Ricky Martin in a Sun Newspaper Online chat posted on Abstracts.net in January of 2002. "Come on, 'Hero'? 'Hero' and the rest of my music is very different to anything by Ricky Martin."

Iglesias considered himself a pop singer who sometimes sang in Spanish rather than a " Latin singer." Latin music, he said, encompassed a variety of styles—salsa, flamenco, and meringue, among them. While some observers distinguished Iglesias's style from Ricky Martin's adrenaline-charged dance pop and Marc Anthony's salsa rhythms, others saw them as one group of Latin musicians. In an interview with CD Now, Iglesias said that grouping the three artists together—Marc Anthony and Ricky Martin, both from Puerto Rico, and himself from Spain—was like "saying there's three guys from Ohio who are singers, and they start doing well; is that an Ohio music trend?"

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Brief BiographiesBiographies: James Heneghan (1930-) Biography - Personal to Rick Jacobson Biography - PersonalEnrique Iglesias: 1975—: Singer, Songwriter Biography - Secretly Dreamed Of Singing, Sold Millions, Earned Recognition Through "latin Explosion", Dubbed Sexiest Man Alive