Luis Miguel Gallego Basteri (born 19 April 1970) is a Mexican singer and an icon in Latin America, he is often referred to as El Sol de México (The Sun of Mexico). He is one of the most successful artists in Latin American history, having successfully performed in a wide range of musical styles, including pop, ballads, boleros and mariachi. To date, he has sold over 100 million records worldwide. His voice has been estimated to span three octaves, six notes.
Latin pop music, along with his personal life and showmanship on stage, has made Luis Miguel an icon for nearly his entire career, which started in Mexico in 1982. Having won his first Grammy Award at the age of fourteen for his duet "Me Gustas Tal Como Eres" with Sheena Easton, he is the third youngest act in music history to receive this accolade. In 1991, the RIAA recognized the high sales for his 1991 album Romance, itself being the third best-selling music album in Mexico, and one of the best-selling Spanish language albums of all time. He was the first Latin artist to have been awarded two Platinum certified Spanish-language albums in the United States (Romance and Segundo Romance). His most recent album, Luis Miguel, was released in 2010 and achieved gold and platinum certifications in four countries within three days of its release.
He is also known for his high-grossing live performances. He is an annual headliner in The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, and he has sold-out the National Auditorium in Mexico City over 230 times in over twenty years. With the Luis Miguel Tour, his most recent concert tour, he visited 22 countries in North America, South America and Europe. Having performed in a three-and-a-half-year span a total of 223 shows all over the world, this tour is the longest and highest-grossing tour ever made by a Latin American artist.
First recordings and commercial breakout
In 1982, at the age of 11, Luis Miguel released his first album, Un Sol, by the Mexican branch of EMI Records. Two years later, he started touring Latin American countries including Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, his native Puerto Rico and Argentina. He scored a major hit with his single, "1+1=Dos Enamorados".
In 1985, at age of 15, he took part at the Sanremo Music Festival, where he won the second place award with his song "Noi Ragazzi Di Oggi". That same year, he was also presented with the "Antorcha de Plata" Award in the Viña del Mar Music Festival for his duet single "Me Gustas Tal Como Eres" ("I Like You Just As You Are") with Scottish singer Sheena Easton. In 1983, he co-starred in the film Ya Nunca Más (released 1984) and in 1985, Fiebre de Amor with singer Lucero as his co-star.
In 1986, Luis Miguel gave his career a brief break, as his relationship with his father was souring due to alleged mismanagement, poor financial decisions and risking his earnings of his career. Shortly after signing with Warner Records, in 1987, he fired his father and started to work with Juan Carlos Calderón. Luis Miguel's album Soy Como Quiero Ser in May 1987 sold well. The album featured covering hits such as "Cuando Calienta El Sol", "Ahora Te Puedes Marchar", and "Yo Que No Vivo Sin Ti".
On 25 November 1988, Luis Miguel's second album Busca Una Mujer was released. The first single La Incondicional became a top-ten hit throughout Latin America in the first half of 1989, thanks in part to the music video. The video was shocking to many fans as he had cut his signature long hair. This cemented his transition from a child star into an adult superstar. By the end of 1989, the second single Fría Como el Viento reached No. 1 on the Hot Latin Tracks. He also had a top-ten single Separados in early 1990, peaking at #8.
In 1990, he made a successful transition from a child singer to an adult showman with the album 20 Años and an ensuing string of sold-out shows first in Mexico then throughout Latin America and elsewhere in the world. 20 Años which sold 600,000 copies in its first week of release, resulted in release of three singles Tengo Todo Excepto A Ti, Entrégate, Amante Del Amor with the two former hitting number 1 on Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks in 1990.
In 1991, Luis Miguel's career went to even greater heights and earned him the respect of a wider audience with the release of Romance, an album of romantic boleros, most of them from the 1950s. He has been credited with reinventing the bolero for modern audiences. The album Romance, which became his most successful material ever eventually sold 15 million units worldwide.
In 1993, Luis Miguel's fifth studio album, Aries, was released, which won him that year's Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Album. That same year, Luis Miguel was personally invited by Frank Sinatra to join him on his Duets II album and to perform live in a nationally televised special in honor of Sinatra's 80th birthday; along with other stars such as Stevie Wonder and Natalie Cole.
In 1994, he released a sequel to Romance, Segundo Romance, featuring Luis Miguel as a convincing pop singer with mastery over timeless Latin classics such as "Solamente Una Vez" and "Sin Ti". The album went on to earn a Grammy Award as well as reaching a Platinum status in the United States.
In 1996, for his contribution to the recording industry, Luis Miguel received a star and was inducted to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Soon after, Luis Miguel quickly returned to the studios and released Nada Es Igual, a pop album featuring "Sueña", the main theme for Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame. In 1997, Luis Miguel released his third album of the bolero series Romances, which earned him a World Music Award and another Grammy Award.
In 1999, Luis Miguel released his ninth studio album Amarte Es Un Placer which, in 2000, earned him two Latin Grammys for being Best Album of the Year and Best Pop Album of the Year. The single "O Tú, O Ninguna" of Amarte Es Un Placer became number 1 on the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks and perched at the top position for eight consecutive weeks. Following the success of Amarte Es Un Placer, Luis Miguel released Mis Romances in 2001, his fourth album in the bolero series. The album, which sold over two million copies worldwide was followed by the launch of Mis Romances Tour which took place throughout the U.S., Europe, and Latin America.
In 2003, Luis Miguel released his first pop album in over four years entitled 33, indicative of his age. The album, which featured a collection of ballads and uptempo songs climbed to number 1 on Billboard's Latin Charts earning Luis Miguel two Billboard Awards as well as Grammy and Latin Grammy award nominations. On the 33 Tour, Luis Miguel filled the largest halls in the U.S., toured throughout Latin America, including Chile where his album 33 sold 2.5 million copies (more records than any other artist in the history of Chile). He also performed at Mexico's sold-out National Auditorium, and various sold-out shows at Buenos Aires, as well as other prestigious international venues such as Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas in Spain. That same year, Prince Felipe of Spain presented him with a special award for being the best-selling foreign artist in his country's history, and hosted a special party in his honor in Madrid.
In 2004, Luis Miguel released his Mexico En La Piel. The album, which was a collection of traditional Mexican mariachi songs went on to sell three million copies worldwide. He launched his Mexico En La Piel Tour in 2005. In 2006, Luis Miguel performed thirty sold out shows between 18 January and 27 February at the National Auditorium in Mexico City. The 123-date tour started in September 2005 in Mexico which then stretched to Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.
In 2005, Luis Miguel released Grandes éxitos, his first greatest hits album, that featured his greatest songs he recorded during all his career, including two never-released singles: "Misterios Del Amor" and "Si Te Perdiera".
That same year, he released a Christmas album called Navidades. The playlist includes many Christmas standards in Spanish. The album reached number one on Billboard's Top Latin Albums chart during the first week of its release. The album released two singles "Santa Claus Llegó A La Ciudad" ("Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"), and "Mi Humilde Oración" ("My Grown-up Christmas List").
On 6 May 2008, Luis Miguel released Cómplices, produced by him and written by Spanish composer Manuel Alejandro. It sold almost 350,000 copies in the first 24 hours. The first single, "Si Tú Te Atreves" was released on 7 April 2008, the second single of the album was "Te Desean". His Complices Tour began in Seattle, Washington on 3 September 2008.
Luis Miguel released his self-titled studio album on 14 September 2010. Its first single "Labios de Miel" is a smooth Latin pop song. His current world tour started on 4 November 2010 in the city of Lima, Peru and runs through the United States, South America, Mexico and Spain among other countries. On 22 February 2012, he sang at the Viña del Mar International Song Festival. With one million dollars for his performance, he became the most expensive artist in the history of the festival. Luis Miguel performed at the Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival on 31 August 2013. On August, 2014, the song "Déjà Vu" was leaked on the web.
On 4 May 2017, Telemundo signed a deal for the exclusive U.S. broadcast rights to the "officially authorized TV series" based on Luis Miguel’s life story and announced it will air in 2018. On the same day, Netflix also revealed it has the rights to stream the yet-unnamed bio-series in Latin America and Spain with the same target date.
In his official Facebook page it was announced that his new single "La Fiesta del Mariachi" was set to release on 27 October 2017. On November 24, the full album, titled ¡México Por Siempre! was released, it features 14 tracks of traditional Mexican music. The tour will begin on February 21, 2018, in the National Auditorium of Mexico City with 5 shows.
Luis Miguel continues to keep his personal life private from the media.
Although his parents lived in Mexico, Luis Miguel was born in the Santurce district of San Juan, Puerto Rico, where his father was performing in a show. His father was the Spanish singer, songwriter and guitarist Luis Gallego Sanchez, known as "Luisito Rey", and his mother was an Italian actress, Marcela Basteri. His father was from Cadiz, a city in southwestern Spain, and his mother was from the Province of Massa-Carrara, Italy. He was named Luis Miguel in honor of Spanish bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguín. Luis Miguel has two younger brothers, Alejandro and Sergio.
Due to his early fame, Luis Miguel had a complicated childhood. He had a difficult relationship with his father, who was also his manager. His father was very strict and demanding during the incessant rehearsals, although his father's strict discipline has also been credited with playing a large role in his success. In 1986, Luis Miguel's mother disappeared mysteriously and her whereabouts are still unknown. In the late 1980s, Luis Miguel fired his father due to financial problems caused by poor representation. After their estrangement, his father, who was a heavy drinker, fell into depression and died on 9 December 1992 in Spain.
Luis Miguel is recognized for his taste for haute cuisine and for being a self-taught sommelier. Luis Miguel released his own vintage of wine, "Único. Luis Miguel", a Cabernet Sauvignon. A native Spanish speaker, he also speaks fluent English, Italian and Portuguese.
Luis Miguel is the father of three children: Michelle Salas, born on 13 June 1989, from his relationship with Stephanie Salas; Miguel, born on 1 January 2007 and Daniel, born on 18 December 2008, both from his relationship with actress Aracely Arámbula. His numerous relationships are widely covered by the Latin media. Regarding his religious faith, he stated: "I am Catholic because I was born in a Catholic family. I believe in God, I visit church whenever I rarely have the chance due to my work commitments."
In April 2010, he was briefly hospitalized at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The cause of the hospitalization was not disclosed. On 2 May 2017, Miguel was arrested by US Marshals following a case with his former manager William Brockhaus where Miguel was ordered to pay over one million dollars on July 2016.
Artistry and image
Luis Miguel rarely grants interviews or attends award ceremonies. He is always escorted by a diligent security team and he is transported in several trucks to distract paparazzi and reporters. Luis Miguel is known for being a hermetic and mysterious individual. He is quoted as saying, "I maintain my sanity by keeping my distance."
Luis Miguel is considered as one of the top male pop singers worldwide today. In a career that has spanned over twenty-five years, he has become the main male singer from Latin America, having performed successfully pop music, bolero, mariachi and romantic ballads. In the late 1980s, Luis Miguel made the transition from child star to consolidated international singer, and since then, he became one of the most revered and popular Latin American artists ever. Also dubbed as a crooner, his wide vocal range and performance has been praised by critics and other artists all over the world. Producer Gustavo Santaolalla described him as "one of the greatest singers of all time" and stated that "Luis Miguel is not just a singer, he's an artist."
His music has reached speaking continents such as Asia and Africa. The press stated that at the time of his capture, the dictator Saddam Hussein, had the album Segundo Romance, among his belongings.
Summary of distinctions
At the age of fourteen, Luis Miguel received a Grammy Award for his duet "Me Gustas Tal Como Eres" (I Like You Just The Way You Are) with Sheena Easton. In 1991, the RIAA gave him a recognition for the high sales of the albums Romance and Segundo Romance. Luis Miguel is the only Latin artist to have two Spanish-language albums (Romance and Segundo Romance) go platinum in the USA.
He was the only Latin artist to perform at the show "Sinatra: 80 Years My Way", along with other pop icons such as Bruce Springsteen, Natalie Cole and Bob Dylan. His album Romances of 1997, became the first Spanish-language album ever debuting at No. 14 on the Billboard Top 200. Warner Music Group recognized Luis Miguel as the best-selling artist in the history of Chile with over 2.5 million records sold. In 2003, Prince Felipe of Spain presented him with a special award for being the best-selling foreign artist in his country's history. In 2008, Luis Miguel's album Navidades became the first Christmas album ever being nominated to the Grammy in the category of Pop. His album Cómplices broke records in Mexico, by selling over 320,000 copies in its first day of release. Just three days after its release, his new album achieved Quadruple Platinum certification in Mexico, Platinum in Argentina and gold records in Chile and the United States.
Luis Miguel is also known by his high-grossing tours and Chile, Uruguay, Venezuela, Brazil and Spain between 1999 and 2000. The tour consisted of 105 concerts and was attended by approximately 1.5 million fans. It was the highest-grossing tour ever made by a Latin artist, as well as the most extended. These two records have been broken by his Mexico En La Piel Tour. His 33 Tour peaked at No. 1 in the Billboard World Top Boxscore. The Mexico En La Piel Tour of 2005–2007, with a total of 124 concerts, peaked at No. 1 in the Billboard World Top Boxscore. The tour spanned two years with a total of 124 concerts attended by over 1.5 millions spectators, and grossed around $950 million. In 2006, during the Mexico En La Piel Tour, after giving 30 consecutive sold-out concerts at the Auditorio Nacional in Mexico, gathering over 260,000 spectators he was awarded with the "Estela de Plata" at the last concert. His Luis Miguel Tour is ranked at number five of the highest-grossing tours of 2011 in North America.
Awards and recognitions
- 1982: Un Sol
- 1982: Directo Al Corazón
- 1983: Ya Nunca Más (soundtrack to the film).
- 1983: Decídete
- 1984: Palabra De Honor
- 1985: Fiebre de amor (soundtrack to the film).
- 1987: Soy Como Quiero Ser
- 1988: Busca Una Mujer
- 1990: 20 Años
- 1991: Romance
- 1993: Aries
- 1994: Segundo Romance
- 1996: Nada Es Igual
- 1997: Romances
- 1999: Amarte Es Un Placer
- 2001: Mis Romances
- 2003: 33
- 2004: Mexico En La Piel
- 2006: Navidades
- 2008: Cómplices
- 2010: Luis Miguel
- 2017: ¡México Por Siempre!
- Soy Como Quiero Ser: 5 Platinum Discs, 8 Gold Discs
- Romance: 1 Diamond Disc, 70 Platinum Discs, 3 Gold Discs
- Aries: 1 Diamond Disc, 40 Platinum Discs 6 Gold Discs
- Segundo Romance: 1 Diamond Disc, 50 Platinum Discs, 2 Gold Disc
- El Concierto: 13 Platinum Discs, 3 Gold Disc
- Nada Es Igual: 30 Platinum Discs, 1 Gold Disc
- Romances: 1 Diamond Disc, 50 Platinum Discs
- Amarte Es Un Placer: 14 Platinum Discs, 4 Gold Discs
- Mis Romances: 8 Platinum Discs, 3 Gold Discs
- 33: 11 Platinum Discs, 2 Gold Discs
- México En La Piel: 1 Diamond Disc, 11 Platinum Discs, 1 Gold Disc
- Grandes Exitos: 5 Platinum Discs, 3 Gold Discs
- Grandes Exitos Videos: 1 Platinum Discs, 1 Gold Disc
- Navidades: 1 Diamond Discs, 10 Platinum Discs, 2 Gold Disc.
- Cómplices: 1 Diamond Disc, 9 Platinum Discs, 1 Gold Disc
- (1982) Un Sol Tour
- (1983) Directo Al Corazon Tour
- (1983-1984) Decídete Tour
- (1984-1985) Palabra De Honor Tour
- (1985-1986) Fiebre de Amor tour
- (1987–1988) Soy Como Quiero Ser Tour
- (1989–1990) Un Hombre Busca Una Mujer Tour
- (1990–1991) 20 Años Tour
- (1991–1992) Romance Tour
- (1993–1994) Aries Tour
- (1994) Segundo Romance Tour
- (1995) El Concierto Tour
- (1996) America Tour
- (1997–1998) Romances Tour
- (1999–2000) Amarte Es Un Placer Tour
- (2002) Mis Romances Tour
- (2003–2004) 33 Tour
- (2005–2007) Mexico En La Piel Tour
- (2008–2009) Cómplices Tour
- (2010–2013) Luis Miguel Tour
- (2014–2015) Deja Vu Tour
- (2018) México Por Siempre Tour