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Jaci Velasquez: 1979—: Vocalist

The Latin Market And Continued Success

In 1999 Velasquez made the unusual move of signing a recording contract with Spanish-language label Sony Discos, based in Miami, Florida. She retained her contract with Word Records for her Christian music releases, but would release Spanish-language albums for the secular market as well. Although Velasquez was not fluent in Spanish and retained other songwriters to pen her album, Llegar a Ti (To Get to You), she looked at her new contract as an opportunity to reach out to the Hispanic audience.

Yet she insisted that the turn toward the mainstream pop market did not mean that she was abandoning her Christian principles. "I relate to what I sing about," she told Billboard in a February 2000 interview. "I relate to [Llegar a Ti.] It is about a love one day I will have…. I don't sing about love in the 'Hey baby, come on over, let me show you' way. I am a believer in sexual abstinence. I plan on remaining a virgin until the day I get married." Reflecting her point of view, the tracks on Llegar a Ti steered clear of overt sexual references and included romantic lyrics that could also be construed as devotional songs. It also included some of her past contemporary Christian hits, this time sung in Spanish.

Llegar a Ti sold over one million copies and earned a Dove Award for Spanish-language Album of the Year in 2000. That year Velasquez collected her second consecutive Dove Award for Best Female Vocalist. Her next album, Crystal Clear, arrived in August of 2000 and featured two songs cowritten by the singer. The album was another major hit and earned a gold record for over a half-million in sales. Velasquez delivered a second Spanish-language set in 2001, Mi Corazón (My Heart), which explored some of the emotional turmoil that the singer had experienced during her parents' divorce. At the end of 2001 Velasquez simultaneously released Christmas and Navidad, featuring traditional holiday tunes in English and Spanish.

Selected discography

Heavenly Place, Myrrh Records, 1996.

Jaci Velasquez, Myrrh Records, 1998.

Llegar a Ti, Sony Discos, 1999.

Crystal Clear, Word Records, 2000.

Mi Corazón, Sony Discos, 2001.

Christmas, Word Records, 2001.

Navidad, Sony Records, 2001.



Billboard, February 19, 2000, p. LM-8; August 12, 2000, p. 16; May 12, 2001, p. 116.

Dallas Morning News, June 3, 1998; October 5, 1999.

Texas Monthly, May 1997.

Today's Christian Woman, May/June 2001, p. 96.


Everything Jaci, Jaci Velasquez Official Artist Web-Site, 2002, http://www.planetjaci.com/newsite/facts.htm

Jaci Velasquez Bio, Word Records Web Site, 2002, http://www.wordrecords.com/jaci/jaci-bio.html

—Timothy Borden

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: Theodosius I to David Watmough Biography - David Watmough comments:Jaci Velasquez: 1979—: Vocalist Biography - Christian Entertainment Background, Debuted At Age 16, The Latin Market And Continued Success