Enrique Iglesias: An Unauthorized Biography

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9780312975234: Enrique Iglesias: An Unauthorized Biography
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Son of the Latin singing legend Julio Iglesias, Enrique has his own sexy style and his own kind of sound. Born in Spain, he's hit the charts big time and captured hearts around the world. But Enrique is more than just a major hottie-he's got the talent and ambition to stay on top.

Find out all about this gorgeous Spanish singer, from his love life to his family life, how he feels about success (as the bestselling Latin recording artist in the world!) and his famous dad, what he likes to do in his free time, and much, much more!

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About the Author:

Elina and Leah Furman are the authors of numerous celebrity biographies such as Ricky Martin, James Van Der Beek, The Heat Is On: 98 Degrees, Give It to You: The Jordan Knight Story, and Heart of Soul: The Lauryn Hill Story. Some of their other titles include the Everything After College Book, Generation Inc., and The Everything Dating Book.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Enrique Iglesias
ONEFather of MineLounging in a plush armchair and waiting patiently for the battalions of anxious reporters to finish off their now-familiar lines of inquiry, Enrique is the image of nonchalance and detachment. With his shy smile, rumpled locks, and signature black leather pants, the world's top-selling Latin artist looks as above it all as his albums' sales figures. It seems as though nothing could faze him now; nothing, except a couple of questions that would put a dark cloud over every record sale, over every fan's smiling face, and over every glance in the bathroom mirror."Is there any truth to the rumor that you and your father compete when it comes to record sales?""Do you think you would be as successful if it wasn't for your father?"Few things affect Enrique Iglesias as deeply as the mention of his father. Forever cast into the role of the "rising son," the young singer has grown to resentthe implication. And when you consider that everything he has achieved--the awards, the critical acclaim, the unsurpassable sales record--he has achieved on his own, it's not hard to understand why."I don't like to get into it but I'm tired of hearing, 'Do you think you sell more records because of your dad?'"We're two different personalities. We're two different singers with two different styles and, most importantly, we're from two different generations."Pointing out the obvious inconsistencies of the "like father, like son" theory cannot be easy on the Latin crooner. After all, the man he is so intent on distancing himself from is none other than his own flesh and blood, his legendary father, Julio Iglesias.But listen closely to Enrique's words and you'll hear a wisdom that is as old as the most ancient empires, as timeless as the struggles of generations past and present, and as certain as the future of rebellious youth. To truly understand a man, it is often not enough to examine his dreams and aspirations. One must look at the whole person, and see his fears, or all that he endeavors not to become. Such is the case with Enrique Iglesias. 
Enrique's story begins more than thirty years before his arrival into the world. While the singer might not like to dwell on the fact, his tale, like those of so many others, begins with the birth of his father. Born to a privileged Spanish family on September 23, 1943, Julio Jose Iglesias was brought kicking and screaming into this world by Julio Iglesias Puga and Rosario de la Cueva.As one of Madrid's leading gynecologists, Julio's father presided over a posh and well-respected household. Living in a spacious apartment in a wealthy part of town, young Julio spent hours dawdling around the house with his mother and looking out onto the busy street life from the pristine privacy of his family's soaring wrought-iron balcony. A younger brother, Carlos, would join him on that very ledge eighteen months later.Rich in history and overflowing with culture, Madrid is the kind of city one can get lost in. Strolling through its narrow streets, stopping for a chato, a glass of red or white wine before dinner, cheering at the bullfights--these are just some of the attractions that await the accidental tourist and greet the permanent resident.For all their worldly advantages, the Iglesias family was not what one would call entirely functional. From an early age, young Julio was aware of difficulties in his parents' marriage. The rumors of his father's sexual exploits with other women would at first shock his delicate constitution, and then alter it beyond recognition. With time, he would learn to justify the infractions, growing closer and closer to his father as he grew up.On the surface, the family operated like a well-oiled machine. Rosario would escort Julio and Carlos to school, and play the dutiful wife at home. On the inside, however, she was fuming with all the outrage of a woman scorned, and planning the rift that would ultimately divide the family forever.The loyalties of the children would split down the middle (and here we anticipate the course of events). Given their present reputations--Julio Iglesias is allegedto have bedded more than 3,000 women since the time he was twenty years old, while his younger brother, Carlos, has remained with one woman for a number of years--it's clear which parent each brother sided with in the ongoing war of the Iglesiases. While Carlos stuck by his mother, caring for her well into her twilight years, Julio formed a strong attachment to his father. But the disruption of the family would not occur until much later. Meanwhile, life went on for the Iglesias family as normal.Ironically enough, the boy who grew into the quintessential "Latin lover" wasn't considered good-looking by his peers. He would often have to play second fiddle to Carlos, who received most of the attention from family and friends. Knowing that he would never be as handsome as his younger brother wrought a deep-seated insecurity in Julio, one that still plagues him to this very day.Gabi Fominaya, a family friend from the old days, recalled that "Julio had quite an inferiority complex about his looks compared to Carlos. Carlos was an exceptionally beautiful child with thick dark hair and beautiful long eyelashes. I think Julio got sick of people saying how lovely his brother was."No doubt Julio was affected adversely by the comparisons made between him and his brother. Although had it not been for his being deficient in the beauty department, Julio would never have striven to develop his personality. Using charm and wit to win the affections that his then-gangly and awkward frame could not, Julio developed the kind of social ease that would later help him ascend to the heights of international stardom.He would also excel in the game of soccer, a sportthat was more like an institution than a pastime in Europe, If a young boy showed promise in soccer, one could feel certain that academics, girls, and popularity would all fall into place. Being a skilled jock was not something the Spanish took lightly, and Julio had been pushed to develop his gift since he was just five years old.By his fifteenth year, Julio had become such a proficient goalkeeper that he decided to attend tryouts for Real Madrid, Spain's premier pro soccer team. Hundreds of young hopefuls had come to compete for the limited team slots, but it was Julio who was handpicked from the crowd to serve as the junior reserve goalkeeper. "From the outset Julio made it always look kind of easy," said Fernando Valls, a fellow teammate. "He was a showman, you know. He would spin the ball around the tip of his finger before booting it back into play. He was agile and daring. He always went for the ball, even in the most impossible situations. He definitely had what it might have taken to go all the way to the top."Although Julio couldn't have known it at the time, his desire to take center stage and show off for the crowd already suggested the magnificent future that awaited him in show business. Even then, he had all the makings of a superstar and a world-renowned performer. Since the very first time that he blocked a shot, he would forever crave the roar of an appreciative audience and the hush of a jam-packed stadium as he dove for the ball. Of course later, the soccer balls would be replaced by women's lingerie, and the audience of male sports fans by throngs of female admirers.His old friend and current manager, AlfredoFraile, noted the immense impact that joining the team had on Julio's development. "After joining Real Madrid he became a kind of local hero--someone that people looked up to. Maybe that was his real taste of success and adulation and he never stopped needing it." 
To anyone with neither the time nor the inclination to probe deeper, Julio was on top of his game and on top of the world. When he turned twenty years old, he was on his way to becoming one of the brightest stars on the Real Madrid roster, as well as earning his law degree at the Colegio Mayor de San Pablo.As a young man, Julio was not apt to rock the boat. He was well aware of the respect his soccer skills elicited from his parents and friends. It was as if he were on a roll in the approval department, and was scared to slow down his momentum. To secure his position in his parents' good graces, Julio made plans to study law. Law would be his anchor, and soccer would be his crowning glory. "Like everybody, I wanted to be a doctor, lawyer, or engineer," he told People magazine.His friends were known to say that Julio had life all figured out and neatly compartmentalized, but Julio was just beginning to find out what he was made of. In fact, although he claims to have chosen law as his profession, his father's not-so-subtle pressure tactics had exerted a tremendous influence on that decision. "I always wanted both my sons to be something in life," explained Julio Sr. "Carlos was an already exceptional student and it came easily to him. But for Julio, studying was always more hard.He wasn't a natural like Carlos. But I insisted that at least he tried."And try he did. Julio attempted to immerse himself in his studies, but would invariably find himself needing to take frequent breaks between his courses. After all, he was young, popular, good-looking, and a rising soccer star. What more need be said of youth and its zest for the fast life?Living fast had always been Julio's motto. But this credo never proved as dangerous as it did on the night of September 22, 1963. Majadahonda was home to an annual fiesta that attracted young people from every corner of Spain; the equivalent of America's youth flocking to the shores of Panama City, Florida, for spring break. And much like any other young man released from the duties of school, Julio took advantage of the fiesta, dancing in the town's square, dining al fresco, and whistling at every pretty girl who passed him in the plaza.Happy and carefree after a short-lived but satisfying romp, Julio and his two consorts jumped into his sporty Renault, ready to return to the real world. They had not been drinking, but even so, the giddiness they felt just from being young and alive intoxicated their senses. Julio was so high on life that he felt invincible, so invincible that he decided to test his courage by accelerating the car to 100 mph just as he was rounding a dangerous bend in the road. The car spun violently, as Julio tried desperately to regain control. But it was too late. The vehicle had teetered over a sharp precipice, plunging deep into the soil.For a minute, Julio thought that he was done for. But no sooner had the car come to a crashing haltthan he regained consciousness. He was still in the driver's seat and wasn't visibly injured. His passengers were also fortunate, escaping with only minor scrapes and bruises. Hobbling away from the site of the crash, the three shaken friends went in search of help. All was well, at least for the meanwhile.In October of the same year, Julio returned to school with the intention of resuming his studies and his practice sessions as a member of Real Madrid. Anxious to get out on the field and prove his mettle to his coaches, Julio ignored the slight discomfort in his spine. Because the pain was intermittent and would vary in intensity, Julio eschewed the doctor's office, hoping that the problem would go away of its own accord.Instead of improving, however, the discomfort grew stronger. Performing routine blocks and lunging for the ball became increasingly difficult. Soon the pain would prevent him from playing altogether. The strain on his spine had gotten so bad that he could barely stand up straight, let alone jump headfirst to block a shot."Julio came to me and complained of this weird pain, which was obviously becoming worse by the day," recalled Julio Sr. "He was gray with pain. He was dying with it. For a father to see his son this way is a terrible thing. He had always been a healthy boy--an athlete. But I could see the gravity of his condition written on his face. I ran to every specialist that I knew and called in every favor I was owed to try to find out what was wrong with him."Getting to the root of the problem would be easier said than done. Without the medical advancements of the past twenty years, diagnosing Julio's spinaldiscomfort proved to be a challenge of immense proportions.One doctor after another would shake his head after examining the stricken young man. And even though they witnessed his pain firsthand, they could find nothing wrong with him. Some specialists even went so far as to suggest that the problem was all in his head. Julio Sr. would not stand to have his son so disparaged. He was so angry with the doctors' ineptitude that if he hadn't been one himself, he surely would have written off the entire profession as a racket.Days turned into weeks and weeks into months, and still there was no answer. When the New Year had come and gone, and Julio's malady was no closer to being cured, Julio's father took matters into his own hands. He secured the aid of some of Spain's most renowned neurosurgeons, begging them to diagnose his son. Through a painful procedure called the Tiodoro, the team of doctors promised to catch what the myriad of X rays had missed.Hopeful as Julio's father was about detecting the problem, the new procedure was extremely dangerous and painful. In his autobiography, Julio described the extreme anxiety he felt during the operation. "I think it was for me the greatest moment of anguish I have ever experienced. The moment of my greatest fear, my greatest sense of being a complete nobody, of feeling all the fear of a small child or of a small animal. I have been a hyper-strong kid, super strong ... I had been one of the best sportsmen my school had ever had. I was a complete sportsman. I was an athlete from head to toes, but there I was with liquid moving slowly down my spinewith my head bowed. Like a rabbit, like a bull, like a ewe about to be put to death in a slaughterhouse."Grim as his thoughts were at the time, the reaper of souls would not make an appearance on that day. As if to make up for all the anguish he experienced while lying prostrate on the table, the procedure proved successful. It finally provided the Iglesiases with the answers they had been searching for. "You could see the problem clearly," Dr. Iglesias revealed. "A soft cyst had been growing on Julio's spine and causing gradual paralysis by compressing the vertebrae and the nerves."No sooner had Julio's family breathed a long-overdue sigh of relief than they were confronted with an even bigger problem than uncertainty--Julio was paralyzed from the waist down. He would have to stay at the hospital for a new round of treatments.Fifteen. days would pass until Julio was allowed to go home. But this would not be the happy homecoming he had envisioned. The doctors were once again baffled by the young man's paralysis, leaving the family no other option than to buy a wheelchair for their son, something they had tried to postpone for as long as possible.Seeing the wheelchair for the first time was just about as traumatic for Julio as his father had anticipated. No matter how hard he tried to wrap his mind around it, Julio could not understand how he, the soccer whiz, the strong athlete, could wind up in a wheelchair.Julio would have plenty of time to accept the cruel hand life had dealt him. Bedridden and desp...

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