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Hector Acosta - Biography of 'El Torito'

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Hector 'El Torito' Acosta

Hector 'El Torito' Acosta

Venevision Music

For years, the music from the Dominican Republic that has filled dancehalls all over the world is the merengue and the most distinctive and beloved voice of the genre is that of Hector Acosta.

Hector Acosta – Early Days:

Hector Acosta was born on May 23 in Bonao, a city in the Monsenor Nouel province of the Dominican Republic. His first singing experience was in the choir of the local church.

In 1982, Radio Novel sponsored a singing competition and the young Acosta secretly entered the competition against his father’s wishes. He eventually took first place, proving both his talent and determination to become a singer.

Los Gentiles:

For the next few years, Acosta performed in local casinos and restaurants, eventually earning a place with a local band, Los Gentiles. There he played the bass which he picked up, along with other instruments, without benefit of formal training. His tenure with Los Gentiles served as a proving ground where Acosta was able to grow as a musician.

Acosta meets Gerardo Diaz, ‘El Toro Mayor’:

In 1989, the popular Rosario Brothers came to perform in Bonao and Acosta was introduced to Gerardo Diaz. Diaz was so impressed with Acosta’s performance and improvisational ability that he immediately proposed forming a new band with Acosta as lead vocalist. Diaz, known as ‘El Toro’ (Bull) named the group Los Toros (The Bulls) and Acosta soon acquired the nickname ‘El Torito’ (Little Bull).

Los Toros Band:

With Diaz as manager and promoter, the Los Toros Band released their first album Se Soltaron Los Toros (They Let The Bulls Loose) in 1991. The band included a quartet of vocalists including Acosta, Olvis Garcia, Luis Jose Alcequies and Robin Joel Vasquez.

Focusing on Dominican music, initially primarily merengue, the band’s goal was to bring Dominican music to the masses and they were wildly successfully in achieving this goal. With hits like “A Pasito Lento,” “No Hay Problemas” and “Pa’ La Calle,” Los Toros gained in popularity in the Dominican Republic; their 1997 landmark album Raices cemented that popularity by paying homage to older-style merengue and gaining the support of a greater percentage of the Dominican population.

The release of Raices culminated in Los Toros Band taking home five Casandra awards that year, including ‘Best Vocalist’ for Hector Acosta. (The Casandra Awards, the most prestigious arts awards in the Dominican Republic, are voted on by the Association of Arts Journalists.)

The band also started adding bachata to their music mix. Their fame spread outside of the Dominican Republic; in addition to other international awards, Los Toros Band was nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2002.

Hector Acosta Forms New Orchestra:

Hector Acosta stayed with Los Toros band for 15 years. In 2006, Acosta left the group to form his own orchestra. His debut album, Sigo Siendo Yo, was released that same year. It did well, containing the hit singles “Me Voy” and “Primavera Azul.” Mitad, Mitad was released in 2008 followed by Simplemente..El Torito in 2009.

Partial Discography

With Los Toros Band

Hector Acosta & his Orchestra

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