“The single most important figure of the past decade in Latin music” – Los Angeles Times
“A Superstar… [One of] The World’s biggest Rock Stars” – Rolling Stone
“One of the 100 Most Influential People in the World” – TIME
“The first truly international rock star to emerge from Latin America” – Associated Press
“Latin America’s hottest singer-songwriter… a soulful poet with electric guitar” – New York Times
“The biggest and most important Latin music artist in the world in the early 21st century” – All Music
“One of the most influential artists of the decade-he’s sold millions while making thought-provoking music” – NPR
In both critical respect and global commercial success, Juanes has become the leading all-Spanish language music artist in the world. Both an electrifying guitarist and gifted songwriter, Juanes is now often mentioned alongside artists such as Bono and Bruce Springsteen for his belief in the possibility of social change through music. Juanes’ musical message of peace confronts conflict while pointing toward love and respect for both those closest to us, and our fellow global citizens as the way to rise above the fray. With multi-platinum worldwide sales of over 12 million albums, a GRAMMY and record-setting seventeen LATIN GRAMMY awards after just his first four records, it is evident that millions of fans have adopted the songs of this poetic rocker as virtual anthems for Latino pride, prayers for peace, and the strength of love. With record-setting chart runs for multiple #1 albums and singles, it is no wonder that Billboard recently declared JUANES as Latin Music’s “Star of The Decade”.
Born Juan Esteban Aristizábal Vásquez in Medellin, Juanes developed his deep love of music through family and learned to play guitar at a young age. At the age of 16, and inspired by his love of artists such as Metallica, Juanes became a founding member/ principal guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for Ekhymosis-which went on to fame as Colombia’s leading hard-rock band. Looking to grow his music further, Juanes relocated to Los Angles in the late 90’s and was eventually signed by multiple GRAMMY & OSCAR winning producer Gustavo Santaolalla. The pair’s natural and magical collaboration took the international Latin rock scene by storm with the release of Juanes’ solo debut album Fíjate Bien in 2000. Showcasing the beginning of Juanes’ trademark fusing of rock with elements of traditional Colombian music such as vallenato, the intensely dark and introspective work was quickly hailed by music critics: “a haunting, wrenchingly powerful recording that burns with a cold fire… unforgettable” – Miami Herald “one of the most thought-provoking, exhilarating discs released this year… a debut to remember.”-Billboard “A brooding & edgy work… an uncompromising work of disillusion and social outrage.”- Los Angeles Times
With it’s title track later cited by NPR as “One of the Decade’s 50 Most Important Recordings” (alongside songs from artists such as Radiohead, OutKast, Green Day, Eminem, Jay-Z, Coldplay, & More), Fíjate Bien went on to garner a record-setting SEVEN Latin GRAMMY nominations (winning three), and set the foundation for Juanes’ approaching ascendancy to the rank of international superstar.
Still spotlighting the dangers that surround us, but pointing the way through to the hope of a more peaceful tomorrow, Juanes returned with a brighter vision on his landmark second album Un Dia Normal (“A Normal Day”). Released in the fall of 2002, Un Dia Normal became the #1 Spanish-language album for all of 2003 in both sales and airplay, and still holds the record for the longest Top-10 chart run (92 Weeks) of any Latin album in history. The album’s success lead Juanes to top six separate Billboard Year-end Latin charts, including #1 album, #1 singles artist, and #1 songwriter, and resulted in his selection for the cover of Billboard’s “Year In Music” special issue.
Producing five hit singles, Un Dia Normal lead Juanes to a sweep of the 2003 Latin Grammy telecast (winning all five awards for which he was nominated: “Album Of The Year” – “Record of the Year” – “Song of the Year” – “Best Rock Solo Album” & “Best Rock Song”). He also was the top winner at Univision’s Premio Lo Nuestro Awards and garnered MTV Latin America’s “Artist of the Year” & “Best Rock Artist” awards. Of course, the high critical praise for Juanes’ songwriting and musicianship continued as well: “‘A Dios Le Pido’ is a prayer for peace [with] a somber intensity” –New York Times “Heartfelt, life-affirming songs that live up to the phrase ‘timeless classic’” – Newsday “A Stirring Voice of Hope-a defiant affirmation of life and a new faith in the power of love”- Washington Post “Confirms Juanes as a master songwriter, guitarist and singer-soaked in subtle touches of genius.” –New Times
Juanes’ global impact grew even more significant with the release of his third album, the socially and emotionally relevant Mi Sangre (“My Blood”). Mi Sangre not only debuted at #1 throughout the Spanish speaking world (quickly reaching multi-platinum status in numerous countries), but also found Juanes continuing his Latin radio airplay dominance with three consecutive singles from the record claiming the #1 spot on Billboard’s “Hot Latin Songs” chart – for a combined total of over 6 months at #1. Even though the album was released in the fall of 2004, the record’s continued success once again saw Juanes top Billboard’s 2005 year-end list as the #1 Latin Songwriter and #1 Latin Singles artist. With Mi Sangre likewise receiving wide award recognition, Juanes was once again the top winner at the Latin Grammy broadcast.
The success of Mi Sangre and its worldwide smash single “La Camisa Negra” also quickly expanded to Europe, where Juanes reached #1 in Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Austria, Switzerland and more. Juanes’ skyrocketing popularity in Europe also lead to high-profile performances at both The World Cup Draw & Nobel Peace Prize Concert. In total, Mi Sangre and its multiple hit singles reached #1 on album and/or singles charts in 32 countries throughout Latin America, The United States and Europe. In 2006, even the Far East embraced Mi Sangre; as Juanes achieved the highest ever debut for a Spanish language album in Japan. In total, the album has sold well over 4 million copies, including over a million copies in The United States and another million units in non-Spanish speaking countries in Europe and Asia.
An essential element in Juanes worldwide success has been the artist’s intensive touring schedule that has brought his acclaimed live performances to millions of fans across the world. Launched in February of 2005 and concluding in August of 2006, The Mi Sangre Tour was quite simply the most extensive worldwide tour in both concert performances and audience size ever mounted by an all-Spanish language performer. Declared “The Best Concert of the Year… as good as music gets” by The Miami Herald, The Mi Sangre Tour broke new ground for a Latin rock tour as it sold out arena’s such as Madison Square Garden, stadiums in Europe and Latin America and drew over 150,000 fans to a show in Medellin, Colombia. In total, the Mi Sangre Tour played 170 concerts over 19 months in 31 countries.
LA VIDA… ES UN RATICO (“Life… Is A Moment”), Juanes’ highly-anticipated fourth album, was released in 77 countries on October 23, 2007 – marking the largest ever world-wide release for an all-Spanish language artist. The week of the album’s release, Juanes gave a ground-breaking performance on NBC’s TODAY show and was awarded a plaque by Universal Music commemorating the sale of over 6 Million advance digital songs from the record. First single “Me Enamora” completely dominated the Latin music airwaves and notched 20 weeks/5-months at #1 on the “Hot Latin Songs Chart” – easily making it the longest-running #1 Latin song of the year. In fact, “Me Enamora” only relinquished the top spot on the chart upon the ascent of La Vida… Es Un Ratico’s second single – “Gotas de Agua Dulce” – which took over the #1 position and went on to become the most played Latin Pop single for all 2008 according to R&R. The top selling Latin album of 2008 at iTunes, La Vida… Es Un Ratico saw Juanes again lead the list of winners at “Los Premios MTV” – winning Artist of the Year, Best Solo Artist, Best Rock Artist and Best Artist – Central, once again SWEEP The LATIN GRAMMY awards – winning all five awards for which he was nominated: Album of the Year – Record of the Year –Song of the Year- Best Male Pop Vocal Album & Best Short Form Music Video and complete the award season trifecta by winning the GRAMMY Award for Best Latin Pop Album.
“FOUR STARS-the most powerful and personal recording yet from Latin music’s greatest rocker” – Miami Herald
“A universal album, befitting a universal star” – Billboard “Spotlight Review”
“[LA VIDA… ES UN RATICO] shines… possesses the grandeur of late-period Beatles – # 1 Pop Latino #3 Overall Album Of The Year (All Music Genres) – iTunes “Best of 2007: Editor’s Choice”
Named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, Juanes’ dedication as a global activist extends far beyond his passionate lyrics, and can be seen in the philanthropic causes to which he dedicates his continued time and energy. Through the work of his own Fundación Mi Sangre Juanes is internationally recognized as a leading crusader in the fight against the use of Anti-personnel mines – both in Colombia and across the world. In addition to working toward the eradication of the deadly devices, the Mi Sangre Foundation actively provides assistance and rehabilitation to landmine victims throughout Colombia. Juanes’ work on behalf of the injured has seen him give the first music performance in the main chamber of the EU Parliament – spurring a 2.5 million Euro donation for landmine victims, organize the highly successful Colombia sin Minas benefit concert in Los Angeles, raise money for the creation of a Peace Park in Medellin with recreation facilities designed for the disabled, and recently act as a featured speaker at “The Cartagena Summit on a Mine-Free World”. Having expanded its mission, the foundation now also works extensively in the area of increasing Early Childhood Development throughout Latin America.
In addition to the specific efforts of Fundación Mi Sangre, Juanes is also internationally lauded as a co-founder and principal organizer of the historic Paz Sin Fronteras (Peace Without Borders) concerts – which seek to unite common citizens across borders and advocate for the continued use of non-violent conflict resolution. Organized in just one week in 2008 in response to quickly escalating border tensions, the first Concierto Paz Sin Fronteras united over 200,000 music fans (and millions of TV viewers) at the border of Colombia and Venezuela in a demand for regional peace. The second PSF concert, staged on September 20th, 2009 to coincide with The United Nations’ International Day of Peace, saw a record-breaking 1.2 Million young Cubans fill Havana’s Revolution Square in a demonstration of unity and the hope for “One Cuban Family”.
In recognition of his philanthropic work, Juanes has been honored by Sir Paul McCartney (at the 2005 Adopt-a-Minefield Gala), been awarded the designation of Knight of The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government, recognized with Billboard’s “Spirit of Hope” award, named the 2008 “Humanitarian of the Year” by the Organization of American States and recently awarded Colombia’s prestigious National Peace Prize by joint vote of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and representatives of leading Colombian media outlets. Additionally, Juanes has performed twice at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo and recently joined Alicia Keys as the featured performers at the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative in New York.
After recently performing on telethons to aid relief efforts for victims of the earthquakes in both Haiti and Chile, Juanes is now in the process of recording his eagerly awaited fifth album-which is expected to see release in late 2010. The world’s leading Latin Rock superstar is expected to unveil a new single during his performance at the FIFA WORLD CUP KICK-OFF CELEBRATION CONCERT in Johannesburg, South Africa on June 10th.