Honoring Julio Iglesias

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On May 9, 2015, Berklee will honor one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time, Julio Iglesias, with an honorary doctorate, alongside Doug Morris, Harvey Mason, and Dee Dee Bridgewater. Having recorded in 14 different languages and sold more than 300 million records worldwide, Julio Iglesias has been a staple of the adult contemporary scene for nearly 40 years.

Born on September 23, 1943, in Madrid, Spain, Iglesias started his professional life as a professional soccer player and law student. While studying law at Universidad CEU San Pablo in Madrid, Iglesias was a professional goalkeeper for Real Madrid Castilla, before sustaining serious injuries in a car accident. Unable to walk for two years after the accident, Iglesias spent a lot of time in hospitals and rehab. His interest in music began when a nurse at the hospital gave him a guitar to pass the time.

Early Career

Iglesias’s first big breakthrough into the European music scene came in 1968, when his song “La Vida Sigue Igual” won the 1968 Benidorm Internation Song Festival in Spain. Following this honor, he was signed to Discos Columbia, the Spanish branch of Columbia Records. He represented Spain in the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest; his entry “Gwendolyne” finished fourth. Other European hits during his early career included “Un Canto A Galicia,” “Se Mi Lasci Non Vale,” “El Amor,” and his French hit, “Je N’ai Pas Changé.”

In 1979, Iglesias moved to Miami, Florida, and signed a record deal with CBS International. During this time, Iglesias added songs in English, Portuguese, and German to his repertoire. In 1984, Iglesias had his first big hit in the United States, with “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before,” a duet with Willie Nelson. The song reached #1 on the US Country charts and #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Also in 1984, Iglesias recorded a duet of “All of You,” with Diana Ross, another top 20 pop hit.


More Recently

Iglesias’s 2003 album, Divorcio, was an international hit, selling 350,000 albums in Spain alone, and reached the #1 spot on the charts in Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, and Russia. In 2003-04, as a result of the success of Divorcio, Iglesias went on a ten month tour, taking him to Europe, Asia, Africa, as well as North and South America.

Following the enormous success of his 2006 album, Romantic Classics, Iglesias returned to the studio to record songs in Filipino and Indonesian for the album’s Asian release.

Awards and Honors

Iglesias has appeared on Dancing With the Stars, Good Morning America, The View, Fox and Friends, and Martha Stewart. He also holds the Guinness World Record for best-selling male Latin artist, and has been inducted into the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame. All in all, Iglesias’s career has spanned more than 50 years, included 80 albums, and has achieved over 2,600 gold and platinum certifications. Berklee looks forward to honoring his music at this year’s Commencement Concert and Exercises.



          February 10, 2018