Also Credited As:Enrique Miguel Iglesias Preysler
|Enrique Miguel Iglesias Preysler on May 8, 1975 in Madrid, , ES|
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Born in Madrid in 1975, Iglesias spent most of his early childhood with his Filipino socialite mother following her divorce to his Spanish father, Julio Iglesias, in 1979. But after his doctor grandfather was kidnapped by the armed Basque terrorist group ETA, he and his brother Julio Iglesias Jr. were sent to Miami to live with their father for their own safety, where they were largely raised by nanny Elvira Olivares. Following his singing debut in a school production of "Hello Dolly," Iglesias caught the performing bug and later cut short his business studies at the University of Miami to pursue a music career without his family's knowledge. Initially refusing to trade on his father's name, Iglesias first recorded under the name of Enrique Martinez before switching back when he signed a deal with the Mexican label Fonovision.
In 1995, Iglesias achieved instant success with a self-titled debut which sold more than a million copies in its first three months and later picked up a Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Performance. 1997's Vivir, which saw him lose out to his father in the inaugural Favorite Latin Artist category at the American Music Awards, and 1998's Cosas del Amor, both of which were supported by extensive world tours, consolidated his status as the new king of Latin pop. Alongside the likes of Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez, Iglesias then helped to propel the genre into the mainstream in the summer of 1999 when his first English-language single, "Bailamos," topped the US Hot 100. Released via Interscope, its parent album, Enrique, went onto shift ten million copies worldwide, spawned a second number one in the shape of the Grammy-nominated "Be With You" and featured a duet with Whitney Houston ("Could I Have This Kiss Forever?") which further cemented his crossover appeal.
Following an appearance at the 2000 Super Bowl half-time show, Iglesias' vocal skills were called into question when an off-key recording of his hit "Rhythm Divine" was discovered and played on "The Howard Stern Show" (Syndication, 1979-). But any concerns that a Milli Vanilli-esque scandal was about to unfold were quashed when Iglesias turned up in person on the shock jock's show to prove he could sing live. Iglesias' reaction to the tape appeared to endear him to audiences even more and in 2001, his signature hit, "Hero," became something of a national anthem in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Its accompanying album, Escape, also sustained the momentum of its predecessor, achieving diamond status and his highest chart position on the Billboard 200 at No.2. Iglesias returned to his roots in 2002 with Quizas, a more introspective affair which addressed the strained relationship between him and his father and peaked at No.12 in the US, a record for a Spanish-language album.
In 2003, Iglesias joined forces with the likes of hit songwriter turned reality TV judge Kara DioGuardi and Kelis on his third English-language effort, 7, and embarked on his biggest world tour to date before taking a two-year hiatus. Returning with Insomniac in 2007, Iglesias showcased a more adventurous side with a collaboration with Young Money mogul Lil Wayne and a cover of indie-rockers Ringside's "Tired Of Being Sorry" which, he also reworked as a bilingual duet with French R&B singer Nadiya. Having previously made his acting debut playing gun-wielding singer Lorenzo in the final part of Robert Rodriguez's Mariachi trilogy, "Once Upon A Time In Mexico" (2003), Iglesias added to his filmography with guest appearances as a carpenter in "Two and a Half Men" (CBS 2003-2015) and as Robin's love interest Gael in How I Met Your Mother (CBS 2005-2014).
In 2008, Iglesias released compilations covering both his Spanish (95/08 Exitos) and English (Greatest Hits) back catalogues, and recorded three different versions of single "Takin' Back My Love" with Ciara, Sarah Connor and Tyssem in a bid to attract a wider international audience. Iglesias' sound took on a more party-friendly direction after he signed with Universal Republic, with 2011's first bilingual album, Euphoria, producing three consecutive Hot Dance Club Songs number ones "(I Like It," "Tonight I'm F***in' You," "Dirty Dancer"). 2013 single "Turn The Night Up" took his overall tally to ten, and saw Iglesias surpass Michael Jackson and Prince as the most successful male artist on the chart, while 2014 parent album, Sex & Love, carried on where its predecessor left off with a series of big-name collaborations (Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez, Kylie Minogue) and a mixture of Spanish and English language tracks.