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Paulina Rubio: 1971—: Singer, Actress

Launched Solo Singing Career

After about a decade with Timbiriche, during which she recorded ten albums with the group, Rubio decided the time had come to try her wings as a solo performer. In 1992 she released her first solo CD, La chica dorada, which was a success, going platinum. The album, recorded in Spain, spawned a number of number one singles on the Latin music charts, including "Amor de Mujer" and "Mio." Of Rubio's debut recording, a collection of dance, pop, and rock tunes, Hispanic critic Mark Holston wrote, "Much like her role model, Madonna, Rubio is more about style than musical substance. But the album does yield some gems, like the moody 'Sabor a Miel.'" Holston was not the only critic to see a strong connection between Madonna and Rubio, whose music videos oozed the same brand of sensuality long associated with her American counterpart. He was also not the only critic to comment on a lack of substance in Rubio's music.

Rubio's successful solo debut as "The Golden Girl" was quickly followed by her second CD, 24 kilates in 1993. Not long after its release, Rubio's follow-up album was certified gold. Like its predecessor, the second album spawned a handful of hit singles, including "Nieva, Nieva" and "Asunto de doas." Although the public seemed to have fallen head over heels for Rubio, critics continued to be lukewarm in their appraisal of her talents, suggesting that the singer's popularity had much more to do with her looks than with her singing ability. After being labeled a "sexpot pinup" in a Los Angeles Times profile by Agustin Garza, Rubio defended her onstage performances and sexy image. "Well, maybe I'm cheap sometimes. I don't care. Whoever doesn't like it, well, too bad. I'm not going to change because of anyone. On stage, I feel free to do whatever I want to do. I was raised in an environment in which women were always the ones who pulled the family through. The stereotype of the Mexican woman as fragile, full of children, and powerless has completely disappeared. I believe I am a woman with a strong character who knows the value of discipline and decisiveness."

Next up for Rubio, after the success of her first two albums, was Tiempo es oro, a CD released in 1995. A year later, she followed up with Planeta Paulina. Sales for both her third and fourth CDs were disappointing, prompting Rubio to sever her professional relationship with the Capitol-EMI label not long after the release of Planeta Paulina. Of her handling by her former record label, Rubio later told Billboard, "I think [EMI] saw me in a way that I didn't fit into. They tried one thing and another and finally I couldn't take it anymore." What followed was a four-year hiatus from recording, during which time Rubio spent a great deal of time pondering the future direction of her musical career. In 2000, recording now for Universal Records, Rubio released her fifth solo CD, titled simply Paulina. It proved to be a very successful comeback for Rubio. The new CD sold more than four million copies in the United States alone and was ranked the top-selling album of 2001 on Billboard's Latin album charts. Her successful return to recording was made all the sweeter by the three awards she won at the 2001 El Premio de la Gente Ritmo Latino Music Awards—including Album of the Year, Best Female Artist of the Year, and Best Music Video for "Y yo sigo aqui."

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Brief BiographiesBiographies: Dudley Randall Biography - A Poet from an Early Age to Ferrol Sams Jr BiographyPaulina Rubio: 1971—: Singer, Actress Biography - Joined Teen Singing Group, Launched Solo Singing Career, Sought English-language Project, Critics Were Again Unimpressed