Selling the most records of all Spanish singers, Julio José Iglesias de la Cueva, is the most phenomenal Spanish music singer of all time. He has sold over two hundred and fifty million albums, mainly between the 1970’s and 1980’s. Being well known mainly for his bilingual romantic ballads, Julio Iglesias performed at about five thousand concerts. On September 23, 1943, at about 2 PM, Julio Iglesias was born in Madrid, Spain. His mother, Maria Del Rosario de la Cueva y Perignat, was the daughter of Jose de la Cueva, a famous Andalusian journalist.
His father was one of the youngest gynecologists of Spain. Dr. Julio Iglesias Puga Sr. fathered Julio’s younger siblings and at the age of 87. Dr. Iglesias’ ancestors came from Galicia and he was born in Orense. Dr. Iglesias passed away on December 19, 2005, seemingly from natural causes, as he was ninety years old. That was not too long before his baby girl was born. He would have been 91.
Julio played goalkeeper for the Real Madrid soccer team. Although he loved to play, he vowed to continue his studies. Julio made a promise to his father that he would carry out his legal studies and did so in England, thirty five years after he initially dropped out. He is certified through Cambridge University.
Before travelling to England to fulfill this promise he made to his father, Iglesias was in a serious car accident, resulting in a three year illness. He had a compression in the cord around the neck area and doctors said that he would never walk again, yet indeed he did. He made a full recovery walking along side Alicante and Malaga beaches with his father, early in the mornings.
While in recovery, Julio learned to play the guitar and started to sing. Actually, his nurse, Eladio Magdaleno, is the one that gave him his first guitar. He committed a lot of his recovery time to poetry and listening to the radio. He also learned to play along with his poetry, with the new guitar.
He met his inspiration and girlfriend, for the song Gwendolyne, at the Airport Pub in Cambridge. Later he took his music to be interpreted by another singer. He was told to sing it alone but he claimed that he just wasn’t a singer. After much convincing, he performed at the Benidorm Music Festival, on July 17, 1968. He won the contest with the song, La vida sigue igual. With that he signed on with Columbia Discos. Julio Iglesias also performed in Romania at the Brassow Golden Stag Festival and in Chile at the Festival de Vina del Mar, within the month of February, 1969. From there the first movie, La vida sigue igual, would be recorded.
On January 20, 1971, Julio married Isabel Preysler Arrastria, in Spain. Together the couple has three children. The oldest being “Chabeli” María Isabel, born August 1, 1971, born in Estoril. Then there is Julio Jose, born February 25, 1973, in Madrid. Finally, famous modern singer, Enrique Miguel Iglesias, born on May 7, 1975, in Madrid. After a year of separation, Julio and Isabel divorced. He has since remarried Miranda Johanna Maria Rijnsburger (a Dutch model) and has five more children. Two of them being twin girls.
One of his many accomplishments is making the Guinness Book of World Records for selling more records in different languages than any other music artist in history. Those languages include German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Japanese. Another great accomplishment is when Julio Inglesias became one of very few artists of Hispanic descent to be honoured on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Iglesias has received so many honours in his life. He was named the Universal Spaniard in Florida and is honoured as the Ambassador of Galicia in Spain. In China he was the first foreigner to receive the Golden Record Award. He has over 2600 Platinum and Gold Records.
In 1997 Iglesias was awarded the ASCAP Pied Piper Award. This award is also shared by other phenomenal singers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Barbara Streisand and Frank Sinatra. In honour of his deceased mother Julio and his brother Carlos opened Rosario de la Cueva Assistance Centre to aid the needy in Miami.
He shares three houses in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, Miami, Florida and Marbella, Spain, with his wife, Miranda and their five children. Julio also continues to travel and perform all over the globe.