By Marshall Terrill, Special to GetOut
Superstar Julio Iglesias was recently named by the Guinness Book of World Records as the Best-Selling Latin Artist in history, with more than 300 million in sales. On April 1, 2013, he received another historic award: First and Most Popular Artist of All Time in China.
In the 45 years of his unstoppable career, Iglesias has received approximately 2,600 platinum and gold awards, performed more than 5,000 concerts in 600 cities around the world, and more than 60 million have seen him perform around the world.
Phoenicians will have another opportunity to see Iglesias live when he appears March 28 at Talking Stick Resort. The romantic balladeer, whose hits include “All of You,” “Nathalie,” and “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before,” spoke to GetOut about his passions and record-setting career.
Q: Congratulations are in order on your recent achievement of being listed in the Guinesss Book of World Records.
JI: Thank you kindly for the compliment, but the reality for me is that was yesterday and this is today. Today I want to say hello to Arizona, a place that I love. I have played there maybe 30 to 40 times in my career, and I like it so much that I want to come back.
Q: With that accomplishment in the rearview mirror, what are your future goals and milestones?
JI: You know, I’m 70 years old now, and my goal is to keep the passion going in my life. It’s no longer about making money — I have all the money I need — but it’s a question of what fulfills me. I try to be professional, and I love my career, and without discipline I would have none of this. It’s true that I do the best that I can to make people happy. It doesn’t mean that I am a saint or a perfect person at all. Time for me goes by very fast, and I want to spend that time being happy and passionate.
Q: Were you strategic in your career about wanting to become an international artist?
JI: It was probably more strategic on the part of CBS Records, who made me move to the United States in 1979. I shouldn’t say made me move, because I love the United States. I have a home there and spend three months a year in America. The record company also had me record music with many American artists and learn the industry here. I can’t complain because it all turned out so well.
Q: How do American audiences differ from those, say, in Europe?
JI: When I play in Europe, when I play in China, when I play in Russia, or anywhere else in the world, the audience ranges from ages 20 to 60 years old. When I play in America, the age range is 50 to 70 years old, which is great. It doesn’t matter to me who shows up because I play the same way. All I want to do is entertain and try and make people happy.
Q: You remind me of a diplomat or an ambassador because you are a world traveler, speak so many languages, and you bring goodwill wherever you go.
JI: Funny you should say that, because I was once a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for 20 years. I did it for the kids, and it was a great time in my life. But my job as a singer is greater than an ambassador, because I will never fall out of favor because of my politics. To be a singer is very easy, but to be an artist is very difficult. I have the easiest job in the world.