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  • The New Latin Rock Sensation

    1 posts, 1 voices, 559 views, started Jan 1, 2009

    Posted on Thursday, January 1, 2009


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      Juanes was born in Medellín, Colombia (August 9th, 1972), named as Juan Esteban Aristizábal Vásquez.[1] He is the youngest child of Alicia Vásquez and Javier Aristizábal.[4] His father called him “Juanes“, a contraction of “Juan” and “Esteban“, which he later used as an alias. In his early years, he used to stay for a season in Carolina del Príncipe, Antioquia, where he got a lot of influence through the traditional latinamerican music. At age seven, Juanes learned to play the acoustic guitar from his father and older brothers, playing traditional Latin styles such as bolero, tango, cumbia, vallenato, and guasca.[1] During Juanes’s childhood, he lost several people close to him; his cousin was held for ransom and executed when the ransom was paid, a close friend was killed by gunmen, and his father died of cancer.[1][5] When Juanes became a teenager, his music gained a darker sound influenced by heavy metal music, especially that of American band Metallica.[1]

      The follow-up, Un Día Normal (A Normal Day), also produced by Santaolalla, was released in 2002 and was highly successful in Latin America. The album was certified gold in Colombia during its first day of sales and was certified platinum and multi-platinum in countries including Colombia, Mexico, and Spain.[8] The album spent 92 weeks in the top ten of Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart,[1] setting a new record,[8] and spent a total of two years on the chart.[8] The album was released after the eligibility deadlines for the 2002 Latin Grammy Awards, but the advance airdate for the lead single, “A Dios le Pido” (“I Ask God“), allowed it to be nominated for three awards and win Best Rock Song.[8][9] “A Dios le Pido” topped the singles charts of twelve countries and spent 47 consecutive weeks on the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks.[1] The album also featured “Fotografía” (“Photograph“), a duet with Portuguese Canadian pop singer Nelly Furtado about the isolation between lovers. Juanes later worked with Furtado on a remix of “Powerless (Say What You Want)“, the lead single from her 2003 album Folklore, and on “Te Busqué” (“I Looked for You“), a single from her 2006 album Loose. Juanes won the most awards at the 2003 Latin Grammy Awards, where he won each of the five awards for which he had been nominated, including Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Album of the Year.[10]

       “Nada Valgo Sin Tu Amor” (2004)  

      The lead single from Mi Sangre.  


      “La Camisa Negra” (2005)  

      Juanes received criticism after his song was used in support of neo-fascism in Italy.  


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      Mi Sangre (My Blood), was released in September 2004 and debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Latin Albums.[11] The album produced three consecutive number one singles, which held the top chart position for a combined six months. The album’s third single, “La Camisa Negra” (“The Black Shirt“), was used in Italy in support of neo-fascism by relating it to the uniform used under the regime of Benito Mussolini.[2] In response, left-wing media network Indymedia called for a boycott of the song.[12] Juanes later stated that “‘La Camisa Negra’ has got nothing to do with fascism or Mussolini...People can interpret music in all kinds of ways I guess.“[13] The song was also banned in the Dominican Republic for its sexual undertones.[14]

      At the 2005 Latin Grammy Awards, Juanes won three additional awards to his nine previous Grammy awards. He took the award for Best Rock Song for “Nada Valgo Sin Tu Amor” (“I Am Worthless Without Your Love“), Best Rock Solo Album for Mi Sangre and Best Music Video for “Volverte a Ver” (“To See You Again“).[15] On December 9, 2005, Juanes performed “La Camisa Negra” at an international gala in Germany celebrating the 2006 FIFA World Cup Final Draw evening.[16] In 2006, he recorded a duet of “The Shadow of Your Smile” with Tony Bennett for Bennett’s Duets: an American Classic.

      On December 11, 2007, Juanes performed at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway together with a variety of artists, which was broadcast live to over 100 countries.[20]

      On November 13, 2008, Juanes swept the Latin Grammys winning all five nominations.

      Juanes has said that: “these are your people, young people, people with families, and four or five of them are dying every day.“[13] Juanes established the Mi Sangre Foundation to help victims of anti-personnel mines[21] In 2005, he was named by Time as one of the world’s 100 most influential people.[22] Juanes has supported current Colombian president Álvaro Uribe, stating that “with this new government of Álvaro Uribe my country seems in better shape.“[23] On November 15, 2005, he was honored at the annual benefit gala for Sir Paul McCartney’s Adopt-A-Minefield for his work as a Goodwill Ambassador for United for Colombia, a non-profit organization that raises awareness about the impact of land mines within Colombia.[24]

      Juanes is also an activist for his native Spanish language; he has stated many times that while he respects native Spanish-speaking artists who choose to sing in English (such as fellow Colombian singer Shakira), he himself will not sing in English in order to best express himself (since he thinks and feels in Spanish) and to promote the Spanish language. One exception was his duet with Tony Bennett for the song “The Shadow of your Smile.” Also recently his new song “Odio Por Amor” includes one line in English-“It’s Time To Change”


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