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Julio Iglesias: 1943—: Singer

Popularized More Romantic Musical Style

In 1977 Iglesias recorded his first project with Ramon Arcusa, a producer and arranger who would remain the singer's right-hand man over the next 25 years. Paxman wrote that "the Iglesias-Arcusa partnership reached a zenith with 1980's Hey!, regarded by many aficionados as Julio's finest hour." The partnership would also see the growth of Iglesias's music into new markets. Arcusa told Paxman, "My mother-in-law, who is English, once said: 'I don't understand one word of what he's singing, but I believe it.'"

After Iglesias established himself in Spain, he became popular in Latin America, Portugal, Italy, Germany, and Japan. "What Iglesias has done, more than any other performer," noted Gerald Clarke in Time, "is bring back to popular music the romantic style of the '40s and '50s." He signed to Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) International around 1980 and attempted to break into English-speaking markets. Unknown to him, however, a group of British tourists had already promoted his career by bringing a number of his albums back from Spain. The records circulated in the music industry, and British deejays began to air Iglesias's version of Cole Porter's "Begin the Beguine." The song reached number one, a first for a Hispanic singer in England, and CBS decided to release English versions of his albums.

During the 1980s Iglesias recorded 1100 Bel Air Place, his first English-language album. His single recorded with Willie Nelson, "To All the Girls I Loved Before," reached number one on the singles chart and propelled the album to triple platinum status. Iglesias told John Lannert in Billboard, "The most memorable era for me was between 1978 and 1984, when I discovered a new world—the music in the U.S. I sang with American artists, which was a whole different world." He made appearances on talk shows, attended events, and received an invitation to the White House from Ronald and Nancy Reagan.

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Brief BiographiesBiographies: James Heneghan (1930-) Biography - Personal to Rick Jacobson Biography - PersonalJulio Iglesias: 1943—: Singer Biography - Car Accident Changed Career, Popularized More Romantic Musical Style, Named Goodwill Ambassador To Unicef