Julio José Iglesias de la Cueva (born September 23, 1943 in Madrid) is the best-selling Spanish singer of all time, having sold over 250 million albums in 14 languages and released 77 albums. While Iglesias rose to international prominence in the 1970s and 1980s as a performer of romantic ballads and as an iconically suave Latin gentleman, his success has continued as he crossed musical and linguistic barriers. Thus far, he has performed approximately 5,0 concerts.
Julio is the eldest son of Dr. Julio Iglesias Puga from Galicia and Maria del Rosario de la Cueva y Perignat; his younger brother is Carlos. When Iglesias himself was 61, his 87-year-old father had more children. Half brother Jaime was born 18 May 2004, and half-sister Ruth on 26 July 2006. Julio's half-siblings were born from the second marriage of Dr. Julio Iglesias Puga and Ronna Keitt.
If not for a car accident, on 22nd September 1963, he may have never had a music career:"I had a car accident, very, very strange car accident," remembers Iglesias. "I lost control of the car and rolled it, resulting in what they call paraparexia, which is not a paraplegic. It's a compression in the cord, in the sense of the neck . my spinal cord, and I was very, very ill for three years." Doctors thought the young man would never walk again. But slowly, he started to recover. And to increase dexterity in his hands, he began to play the guitar. Once he recovered, he resumed his studies and he travelled to England to study English, first in Ramsgate and then at Bell Educational Trust's Language School in Cambridge.
In June 2001 he finished his law degree at Madrid Spain's Complutense University, fulfilling the promise he made to his then 84-year-old father that he would eventually graduate after dropping out 35 years ago to pursue his music career. He received a certificate as a lawyer from Cambridge University.
During the 1970s he met the Filipina socialite and Hola! magazine journalist Isabel Preysler, and just 7 months later they married. Together they have 3 children:
Daughter: Isabel Iglesias known as Chabeli Iglesias (born September 3, 1971, in Madrid).
Son: Julio José Iglesias Jr. (born February 25, 1973, in Madrid).
Son: Enrique Iglesias (singer, born May 8, 1975, in Madrid).
Chabeli Iglesias is now a news reporter in Washington DC. Enrique Iglesias followed in his father's footsteps and is a world-famous singer. Julio José Iglesias is a model who has released two CDs. It was during the 1970s that the Iglesias family's private life became very public, with Julio and the rest of the family frequently featured on the covers of various international magazines. The couple divorced in 1978.
Since 1990 Iglesias has been with Dutch former model Miranda Johanna Maria Rijnsburger born on October 5, 1965. He revealed that Miranda accepted his marriage proposal and they will marry in the future so that their twin daughters will be bridemaids. Together they have 5 children.
In 1968, he won the Benidorm International Song Festival, a songwriter's contest in Spain, and signed a contract with a Columbia Records Latin music label, Discos Columbia. He represented Spain at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1970, finishing fourth behind Northern Irish singer Dana Scallon, and the Welsh singer Mary Hopkin. His entry was the song "Gwendolyne" which was his first recording. Notable albums from this decade include A Flor de Piel (1974, which spawned the big European hit Manuela), El Amor (1975) and Soy (1978). he has a lot of family in England, with the surname Iglesias.
In 1985, his father was kidnapped but found well and alive after two agonizing weeks. This prompted Julio (divorced from Preysler), to move his family to Miami, Florida, where they settled in a mansion on Miami Beach. That year he also recorded duets with Diana Ross and Willie Nelson. It was rumored in 1986 that Julio, perhaps seeking to get away from all the fame and hoopla for one week, was found walking around the streets of Cayey, Puerto Rico, after disappearing for seven days. After visiting the island of the Dominican Republic he fell so in love with it that in late 2005 he adopted legally Dominican citizenship.
Julio has made important investments in the Dominican Republic's eastern town of Punta Cana, a major tourist destination, where he spends most of the year when he is not on tour.
The singer's south Florida mansion on the exclusive, security obsessed, private Indian Creek Island is currently on the market for $28 million dollars making it one of "Ten Most Expensive Homes in the South" in 2006 according to Forbes Magazine