Sanz, Alejandro

Sanz, Alejandro
▪ 2003

      Spanish pop singer-songwriter Alejandro Sanz continued to figure prominently at the forefront of Latin music in 2002 with the success of his album Alejandro Sanz–MTV Unplugged (2001), which garnered him Latin Grammy awards for best album, best song, and best record of the year in September. The gravelly voiced Sanz had also won these same three awards at the previous year's ceremony in addition to the award for best male pop vocal album for his critically acclaimed El alma al aire (2000). These achievements testified to the continuing ascendancy of the “flamenco-pop” artist whose 1997 effort Más had become the best-selling pop recording of all time in his native Spain.

      Alejandro Sánchez Pizarro was born on Dec. 18, 1968, in Madrid and raised in Cádiz, a city in the Andalusia region. His father was a professional guitarist who had worked with the likes of Spanish stars Manolo Escobar and Lola Flores. Sanz took up guitar when he was seven years old and began composing songs a few years later. He left trade school at the age of 16 in order to pursue music as a career and recorded his first solo record, “Los chulos son pa' cuidarlos,” in 1989.

      Teenybopper pop star status came in 1991 with the release of Sanz's first album, Viviendo deprisa, and continued with Si tú me miras (1993) and 3 (1995). His next album was the record-breaking Más, which showcased a burgeoning maturity in lyrical content and sensibility that appealed to a broader audience base; this was in part evidenced by the whopping five million copies that were sold of “Corazón partío,” a hit song from the album. Básico, which had previously been released in a limited edition and featured selected songs from his past albums, followed a year later; the eagerly anticipated El alma al aire was released in 2000. Alejandro Sanz–MTV Unplugged was the first Unplugged album ever to have been recorded by a Spanish artist.

      An ever-evolving artist, Sanz also enjoyed working with a different medium for self-expression—painting. A collection of his works was scheduled to be on display in Madrid in October and November.

Shanda Siler

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Universalium. 2010.

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