Julio Iglesias was born on September 23rd, 1943 in Madrid, Spain. He started off as a young goalkeeper for Real Madrid, but a car accident when he was 20 left him paralysed. He was told he would never walk again. He began learning the guitar while lying on his back. His determination, and not listening to doctors, meant he regained almost total mobility.
The height of his success was during the 1970s and 1980s. Julio Iglesias was a professional soccer player with Real Madrid and graduated from law school before he won the 1968 Benidorm Festival with a song he composed himself, “La vida sigue igual,” and signed with Discos Columbia records.
In 1979 he moved to Miami, Florida, in the United States, signed a deal with CBS International, and started singing in different languages such as English, French, Portuguese, German and other languages to his music.
Iglesias released the album, De Niña a Mujer (1981), dedicated to his daughter (who shared the cover photo with him), from it came the first English-language hit, a Spanish cover of “Begin the Beguine” which became number 1 in the United Kingdom; he also released a collection, Julio (1983).
In 1984, he released 1100 Bel Air Place, the hit album which established him as a star in the English-speaking entertainment industry. It sold over three million albums in the United States alone. He releases his albums in many languages and tours relentlessly.
In 1985, a Basque terrorist group kidnapped Iglesias’ father, but he was located unharmed after two weeks; believing his family would be safer in the United States, the singer relocated to Florida, where he owns an estate in Indian Creek Village, as well as a home in the resort town of Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
In 2008 Iglesias recorded another song as a gift to his fans. The family recorded “The Little Drummer Boy” in Spanish and English and included it in the family’s Christmas card.
Iglesias also made investments in the Dominican Republic’s eastern town of Punta Cana, a major tourist destination, where he spends most of the year. In fact, he has been a Dominican citizen since 2005.
While he maintained a busy performing schedule, Iglesias seemed to be slowing down his recording commitments after the release of 2006’s Romance Classics, but in 2011, declaring his voice to be as strong as it had been in his youth, he re-recorded a number of his best-known songs for a new collection, titled 1, Vol. 1, which was a major commercial success.
He has been married to Miranda Rijnsburger since August 24, 2010. They have five children. He was previously married to Isabel Preysler.
Eighty albums released in 14 languages, over 300 million records sold worldwide, and a devoted following of women who hear that something in his voice that knows no boundaries of language. Despite claiming to be “not that great” of a singer, Iglesias’ ability to connect to a global audience has served him well. He says it’s his passion for music and for people.