Spanish singer Julio Iglesias is celebrating his 80th birthday today. He is internationally recognized thanks to hits like "Gwendolyne" or "Soy un Truhán, Soy un Señor." Music, however, was not his first career choice, but was the result of an accident.
As he recently explained to the magazine ¡Hola!, ending up in the world of music was never his dream. He wanted to be a soccer player and signed when he was young as a goalkeeper for the Real Madrid Football Club.
Years later, he signed as a goalkeeper for Real Madrid's main squad. However, his football career was short-lived. On Sept. 22, 1962, one day before his birthday, he suffered a car accident while he was partying in Majadahonda, Madrid. This would mark the end of his sporting career.
After recovering, he decided to travel to London to continue his studies, and there he began to compose music. In 1968, Iglesias decided to go to a record company to try his luck. Despite initially not wanting to sing, since he considered himself a composer, he ended up giving in to the manager's wishes. That was the beginning of his career in music.
Julio Iglesias, Spain's representative in Eurovision
In 1970, Julio Iglesias won the Barcelona Song Festival with "Gwendolyne" and represented Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest that year. He did not win the award, but he managed to make a name for himself in the international music scene.
He has maintained success in his 52-year musical career. He is best known for songs such as "Soy un Truhán, Soy un Señor," "Quiero," "Te Prometo," "Me Olvidé de Vivir," "Baila Morena," "La Carretera" and "De Niña a Mujer."
Thanks to his 40 albums as well as his collaboration on more than 40 others, Iglesias has managed to become the most successful Hispanic artist in history. In 1983, he became the sole owner of the Diamond Record, an award that, Europa Press recalled, he achieved by having sold more than 100 million copies in more languages than any other artist in the world. Thirty years later, in 2013, the Guinness World Records ranked him as the highest-selling Hispanic artist in history.
The artist retired from the stage in 2017 and is expected to celebrate his birthday today privately in his mansion in The Bahamas, with his wife Miranda Rijnsburger and his children Miguel, Rodrigo, Victoria, Cristina and Guillermo. There, he will receive a video over three-and-a-half hours long featuring more than 400 artists as a gift from his friend Ricky Castellanos.