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Julio Iglesias

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Julio Iglesias

Julio Iglesias

Courtesy Vince Bucci /Getty Images

Born: Sept. 23, 1943

Trivia:

  • When Iglesias tried to get into the school choir, he was told it would be better if he tried football (soccer).
  • Iglesias was #4 on Maxim's "Top Ten Living Sex Legends", as the count of women he has 'loved before' allegedly totals 3000. Iglesias' tongue-in-cheek response? "That was up until 1976."

Julio Iglesias was born in Madrid, Spain. His father was one of Spain’s early gynecologists, his mother a homemaker. He was raised with his younger brother Carlos, although he acquired some half-siblings with Jaime in 2004 and Ruth in 2006. When Jaime was born Iglesias was 61, his father 89.

Julio Iglesias never consciously intended to become a singer. He studied law in Madrid and – taking the advice given to him when he failed to make the school choir – became a goalkeeper for one of Real Madrid’s youth soccer teams.

The Accident That Changed His Life:

The law was put on hold (he finally earned his degree in 2001) and a sports career ended in 1963. On Sept. 22, the night before his 20th birthday, Iglesias was involved in an auto accident that left him semi-paralyzed with little hope that he would ever walk again.

With the unceasing help of his family, it took over 1½ years for Iglesias to beat the odds and take that first step. During the difficult rehabilitation his nurse gave him a guitar. With so much time on his hands, he started to write sad, romantic poems but over time he added basic melodies and guitar chords to his words.

Benidorm International Song Festival:

Once he recovered enough to resume normal life, Iglesias went to England to study, continuing to write songs and sometimes singing in local pubs.

In 1968 he decided to take one of his songs to a local record company, hoping that one of their artists would choose to perform his song. He was dubious about the suggestions that he sing it himself – he still didn’t consider himself a singer – but finally was convinced to try.

That year he entered the prestigious Bernidorm Music Festival with “La Vida Sigue Igal.” He won.

First English-Language Album:

Iglesias started on a round of festivals, concert tours and continued composing music. He recorded 7 albums before changing labels from Discos Columbia to CBS International in 1978.

Iglesias had his first English language hit with his cover of “Begin the Beguine” from his 1981 album De Nina A Mujer in 1981 although his first all-English album release was 1984’s 1100 Bel Air Place (his actual address while living in the U.S.).

Iglesias Sets World Record:

There was nothing unusual about songs in another language for this singer. He has sung in Spanish, German, English, French, Italian, Portuguese and Japanese. In 1983 the Guinness Book of World Records presented Iglesias with their first 'Diamond Record Award' given a singer for selling more records in more languages than any other musical artist in history.

Personal Life:

Julio Iglesias was married in 1971 to Isabel Preyster Arrastria. They had 3 children: ‘Chabeli’ Maria Isabel, Julio Jose and Enrique. They were divorced in 1978.

He also has had 5 children with his current partner, Miranda Rijnsburger: Miguel Alejandro, Rodrigo, Cristina, Victoria and Guillermo.

The family spend their time between homes in Marbella, Spain as well as in Miami and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.

In the over 3 decades of making music, Iglesias has released 77 albums, sold over 300 million copies and received more than 2600 Platinum and Gold records. There's no doubt that this artist is truly a living legend.

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