Of The Moment – Julio Iglesias 

Selling more albums than any Latin music artist in history, Julio Iglesias’ path to a career in music happened almost by fate. Born Julio Iglesias De la Cueva on September 23, 1943, in Madrid, Spain, Iglesias spent much of his youth in pursuit of a professional soccer career. However, after an automobile accident left him temporarily paralyzed at the age of 20, he had to give up his pursuit of a career as a professional athlete.

No longer able to play soccer due to his injuries, Iglesias took up playing the guitar as he recovered. After entering and winning a Spanish songwriter’s contest in 1968, Iglesias won a record contract and recorded his first album, “Yo Canto.”

In the decades that followed, Iglesias recorded one or two albums per year. His popularity and versatility led to albums recorded in French, Portuguese, German and English, the latter of which led to collaborations with an array of artists ranging from Diana Ross to Willie Nelson.

Today Iglesias is regarded as “The King of Latin Pop,” a title few can dispute. From album sales in excess of 300 million, a slew of awards, including a Grammy for best Latin album in 1988, and more than 5,000 concerts to his credit, Iglesias remains the biggest Latin music star of all time.

You’ve recorded 77 albums and performed in more than 5,000 concerts, what has kept you both driven and centered along the way?

In any situation where you perform in front of people, the most important thing is moving them. That comes from passion. You can be a perfect painter, a perfect writer, a perfect singer, but to be able to sustain that you have to be able to go to the people. It starts in your heart and in your brain. You give to others and communicate. You enjoy it, you love it, but you also learn. It’s an education and a learning experience. There are a thousand little things to learn along the way. The only thing you can be is thankful and grateful to the people to be able to live this life. It’s also important to be an honest and passionate professional.

What does it mean to live a good, fulfilled life?

To learn, to make the most of opportunities, to live your life at the limit, to love. It’s important to be around positive people and things. I also believe one of the biggest privileges in life is being able to work in a profession that you love.

Where are your favorite places to travel?

When you travel day by day you find out very quickly: the people make the places. I love places near beautiful oceans and beautiful rivers, but I cannot say I have a favorite place. I can be in a place that is raining and cold and be very happy or I can be on a beautiful beach and be unhappy. The people make the difference.

Who are your favorite visual artists?

Something that really moves me is the eyes on the painting of a Van Gogh. I like all the cycles of Picasso, from his “Blue and Rose” work to his later works. I also like Rembrandt, Greco, Miró and Gauguin. There are really so many, it’s difficult to name them all.

Which musical artists influenced you throughout your life? How has your taste in music changed?

When I was very young, I was very much a sports person. Music did not exist to me until I was 20 years old. After that age, I really became interested in music: The Beatles, Elvis, Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, those artists had a lot of influence over me. I was born in a country that has a much better sense of an acoustic sound, more so than electric, so I became a crooner like Sinatra. If I had been born with an electric guitar, for sure I would have been much more into pop or rock early on. But I was born in the Mediterranean. I adore the fact that I grew through acoustic music. It served as a better way to express that passion of my emotional life.

Are there any goals you feel you have yet to accomplish, either personally or professionally?

When you are young, you dream, and those are your goals. As you grow up, you begin to set goals for yourself that you know you can achieve. You dream awake. The only goal I want to achieve is to never stop learning, ever.