Juanes is a Colombian singer-songwriter, musician and one of the best-selling Latin artists. The pop-rock star combines guitar and lyrical romanticism, maintaining all the while his Colombian heritage.
Juan Esteban Aristizábal Vásquez was born in Antioquia, Colombia on August 9, 1972. At 7 years-old he learned how to play guitar and a variety of traditional pop sounds. Growing up during the height of drug lord Pablo Escobar, his childhood was filled with turmoil and violence. Vásquez took comfort in music, listening to The Beatles and Metallica.
In 1988, he joined the rock band Ekhymosis and released 7 albums in total in the following 10 years. The band, however, could not transcend outside their local Colombian market. Juanes disbanded with the group in order to focus on a solo career, outside Colombia.
He moved to Los Angeles and managed to get signed to the record label, Surco. Fijate Bien, Juanes’ debut album was released in 2000. It was a huge success in Colombia, reaching number 1. The album earned Juanes, 7 Latin Grammy nominations, winning 3 of them.
In 2002, A Dios le Pido was released as the lead single from his upcoming album. The track became iconic in Latin America for its peaceful message. It was number 1 in 12 countries and remained on Billboard’s Hot Latin Tracks for 47 consecutive weeks. Un Día Normal was revealed the same year, probably becoming the best Latin album to date. It spent a whopping 92 weeks atop Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart. Juanes supported the LP on tour, garnering many more accolades along the way. The next effort, Mi Sangre arrived in 2004 to good feedback from critics and fans. He embarked on a massive tour of 200 dates and released the number 1 hit La Camisa Negra. He was beginning to get noticed in the US as well by being included in Time’s magazine list of The 100 most influential people in the world today. Me Enamora the lead single from the 2007 album La Vida…Es un Ratico was number 1 in 14 countries. In Colombia, the LP sold out of physical units during its first day. Starting 2010, Juanes unveiled P.A.R.C.E. which was recorded in London followed by 2014’s Loco de Amor. The latter peaked at number 1 on the Latin charts and garnered him another Latin Grammy award for Best Pop/Rock Album. Juanes’ upcoming album Mis planes son amarte is set for release in the following months. Three singles were released from the album so far: Fuego, Hermosa Ingrata, and Angel.
Photo credit: Universal Musica