1 minute read

Enrique Iglesias: 1975—: Singer, Songwriter

"hero" Soothed Terrified Nation

Iglesias's second English-language album, Escape, released in September of 2001, marked a musical departure from his earlier work. Escape featured more of an American arena-rock influence, showing the singer's affection for ballads by such 1980s groups as Journey and Foreigner. "This is the album that is the most like me," he said, describing Escape on his official website.

In a move unusual by industry standards, Iglesias decided to release a ballad, "Hero," rather than an up-tempo song as the first single from Escape. "Hero," which was written as a love song, hit the airwaves in September of 2001, captured the imagination of a nation grappling with the terrorist attacks of September 11th. In response to the September 11th tragedy, some radio stations reportedly played "Hero," with news clips and excerpts of a speech by President George W. Bush's talking over it. "It kinda bothered me a little bit in the beginning because I never gave permission, and that wasn't the meaning of the song," Iglesias told Gary Graff of CD Now. "And then I came to think, 'You know what? It's a love song. It's a song about helping the one you love. It's completely logical at a time like this. ' " On September 21, 2001 Iglesias performed "Hero," on America: A Tribute to Heroes, a two-hour star-studded telecast to raise money for the United Way's September 11 fund.

Critics, however, gave both "Hero," and Escape mixed reviews. " Nothing here is even irritatingly catchy like his breakthrough hit, ' Bailamos,' said a review in People Weekly. "Such up-tempo Latin-lite numbers as the title tune, 'Love to See You Cry, ' and 'I Will Survive' (no relation to the disco chestnut) are as bland as white bread. The whimpering ballad 'Hero' only magnifies his trembly vocals." A critic for Knight/Ridder/Tribune News Service was similarly negative, criticizing Iglesias for "those little cries he omits at the end of a line" to convey emotion. Nevertheless, Iglesias's popularity remained strong. He had the clout to attract such high-profile actresses as Jennifer Love Hewitt and Shannon Elizabeth and tennis star Anna Kournikova to roles in his music videos. In January of 2002, Iglesias won an American Music Award for Favorite Latin Artist.

Additional topics

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