Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez
This Summer’s Blockbuster Concert Tour
by Tamar Alexia Fleishman
photos by Manu Rivera
At the end of April, Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez announced that they would be co-headlining a U.S./Canadian tour together; the international press had a field day. The upcoming series of concerts have the potential to break all kinds of attendance records. The reasons are easy to understand. Unlike musicians who have a limited regional or generational appeal, both Iglesias and Lopez are A-list celebrities on a global scale. Their Latino heritage reaches to a broad spectrum of fans. The scheduled tour includes cities with strong Latino populations. Lopez has discussed that the tour may be expanded to other countries.
Both Iglesias and Lopez have had multiple incarnations of their careers, enabling them to develop followers from several ages. Likewise, they have multiple generations of fans both willing and able to spend money to travel and see their favorite stars. The two performers are a good fit together on a concert bill, musically and stylistically. As opposed to some line-ups where the audience changes completely between the first and second half of the show, Iglesias and Lopez will have significant overlap in their fan base.
Though only in his 30’s, Enrique Iglesias is one of the best selling Spanish language artists of all time. Billboard has called him “The King of Latin Pop” and “The King of Dance”. Yes, he is a son of the world-famous Spanish singer, Julio Iglesias, but Enrique wanted to see if he could break into the music business without relying on his father’s name. He borrowed money from the nanny who raised him when his father was on tour, to create a demo tape with a Spanish song and two English songs. With the assistance of his father’s former manager, Fernan Martinez, he promoted the songs under the stage name “Enrique Martinez” and a back story of his being an unknown singer from Guatemala. Even under these circumstances, the Mexican record label Fonovisa signed Iglesias.
In 1995, he dropped the guise when he released the album Enrique Iglesias, selling half a million copies the first week. This was considered a rare feat for a non-English record. Iglesias had enough confidence in himself – with the sentiment obviously joined by his label – to insist on his very first tour being booked in stadiums. The confidence was well-placed: he played to sold out audiences in 16 countries.
Iglesias uses different aspects of his talent when recording versus live performances. “There are many different ones. To record is a creative process with a lot of nights with insomnia. One has to be open minded, one must call to the inspiration and be open to signals: sometimes a melody arrives first and at other times, a phrase and from there, it all begins. Live, well, each night is unique, unrepeatable. Each public in each country makes the difference.”
This tour will be his ninth. Iglesias spoke to MexicoTraveler® exclusively about how he stays at the top of his game, both physically and musically, for his tours. “If I had the secret, I would tell it to you. I think nobody has it yet; it’s a combination of luck and working very hard. I think that I’m a perfectionist and this helps too, as I push myself a lot. I have a good instinct for the songs and I surround myself with a good team that also keeps me in line. The moments I enjoy the most are when I’m touring, but to eat well, rest a lot and escape to Los Cabos once in a while, truly charges up the batteries.”
Iglesias is modest when asked whether he believes his performances help people of all cultures appreciate Latin pop. “We’d have to ask the fans, I give myself when on stage- just as I am. I think that the success falls on those songs which the fans have made successful, which is why every concert is a party in which we all participate.”
Iglesias has won a Grammy®, a Latin Grammy and many other industry awards. In 2000, after Iglesias performed at the Super Bowl® half-time show with Christina Aguilera, veteran shock-jock Howard Stern had questions about the authenticity of Iglesias’ performances. Iglesias came and sang live on Stern’s radio show, dispelling all doubts. Stern told Iglesias, “I respect you for coming in here; you really can sing.” Iglesias has since remarked that (episode) was the best publicity he could have had.
Earlier this year, Iglesias sparked some more controversy after cancelling a tour he was supposed to perform with Britney Spears – just hours after it was announced. It appears to be just as well, as the European press would attest. In 2007, the York Press (England) compared Jennifer Lopez’s Brave for Brave to Britney Spears’ album due for release around the same time. Praising Lopez for not needing digital enhancement of her voice in “Brave” compared to Spears, they turned their favor to Brave instead of Blackout.
What does the future hold for Iglesias, musically? “Well, all that I haven’t done is to sing “salsa” (he laughs). I think we’ve been extremely risky and eclectic with Euphoria. We have a lot of combinations and my singing with Juan Luis Guerra, of which I am very proud. Of course there is still a ton to do. We’ll see what destiny has in store for us. . .” lenging undertaking, searching out exceptional talent from every country in the region took months of planning and preparation,” commented Fuller. “Every time I’ve travelled in the region, I’ve been blown away by its beauty and the potential of the people. Music and dance runs through the veins of everyone. Q’Viva will reveal to the world just how much exquisite and pure talent exists in every corner of every country.”
Jennifer Lopez has a kaleidoscope of artistic abilities that have kept her in the limelight with diverse audiences for over 20 years. First bursting into the American consciousness as a “Fly Girl” on the television show In Living Color, audiences saw a fresh faced, appealing young woman with fluid, hip dance moves. Later, she worked as a backup dancer for Janet Jackson.
Breaking away from silent, anonymous Fly Girl status, Lopez showed she could act and bring in audiences. While her first major role on the big screen was in 1995’s Money Train, it was her title role portrayal of the much-mourned Tejano music star Selena that was her breakout roll in 1997. Lopez’s performance earned her an American Latino Media Arts Award (ALMA) for Outstanding Actress. She also earned an ALMA for her 1998 performance in Out of Sight. She has starred in several high-grossing films since then, including The Wedding Planner (2001), Monster-in-Law (2005) and The Back-up Plan (2010). She also provided the voice for Azteca on the computer-animated film Antz. In a left-handed tribute to her superstar status, Lopez has been parodied on the show South Park. Her newest movie, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, just came out — but the tour is the chance to see her live.
Celebrity lore is littered with tales of actresses who casually thought they’d give the recording studio a go, but singing is the talent for which Jennifer Lopez may be most famous. Despite growing up in a music-loving household, Lopez was already in her late 20’s when she released her debut album, On the 6. Ironically, her role as Selena came before Lopez was professionally trained as a singer, and she lip-synched the part. But when her own albums came out, she immediately emerged as a singing star. Even her earliest releases reached the top levels of the Billboard charts. Part of her early audience was very young, as she had a teen-pop sound and a still-youthful appearance. When her songs became popular in clubs, she garnered an older audience, as well. Stylistically, her albums have ranged from pop, Latin pop, dance, funk and R&B. World-wide sales estimates of her records as of 2010 are over 55 million.
Lopez’s career regained its heat in the beginning of 2011, when she joined Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler as a judge on American Idol. It’s a better panel mix than other seasons, when not all of the judges had a professional singing background. Lopez’s comments carry authority to the performers; the fact that she’s giving guidance to the next generation imparts a sense of gravitas to her aura.
For years, Lopez has been known for her glamorous style. Part of the tour’s fascination will be Lopez’s stage costumes. In 2000, she drew world-wide attention for the plunging, sheer green Versace dress that she wore to the Grammys®. The dress has since been named one of the most iconic dresses of all time. As a child, even before the dancing, acting and singing, Lopez was designing clothing. Her drive came from a desire to create outfits that fit her voluptuous shape, while remaining within her budget. Today, Lopez has created clothing lines, designed accessories and licensed her name to popular fragrances. Glowing, her latest fragrance released of 18, just came on the market. Sales have exceeded $2 Billion.
Lopez’ showmanship has led to a huge demand to see her perform. Her On the Floor music video broke a record by becoming the Most Viewed Music Video By A Female Artist in the history of YouTube: it’s been viewed over 500 million times. Lopez’ career music video views exceed 2 billion.
Wisin y Yandel
Iglesias and Lopez will be also sharing the stage with Puerto Rican reggaeton duo, Wisin y Yandel. They also have earned a Grammy®, a Latin Grammy and are renowned for their spectacular stage shows. The duo performs with a 10 piece band, 8 dancers, and a state-of-the-art audiovisual show. It is rare to have such an accomplished and well-known opening act on bills; the whole show is strong and stylistically cohesive. It has been announced that all four music stars will be collaborating on songs during the shows.