Juan Gabriel Biography
Juan Gabriel (born Alberto Aguilera Valadés on 7 January 1950, in Parácuaro, Michoacán) is a Mexican singer and songwriter who is one of the most successful popular musicians in the history of Mexican music, and one of the most famous living representatives of the Mexican ranchera, ballad, mariachi, and pop music.
He attended boarding school in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, but left to work as a craftsman at the age of 13. Already a songwriter, he began his performing career in nightclubs and local television using the stage name Adán Luna.
In 1971, he landed a recording contract with RCA Records. Changing his name to "Juan Gabriel", he gradually established himself as Mexico's leading songwriter, penning in many diverse styles as rancheras with mariachi, ballads, pop, rock, disco, with an incredible string of hits for himself and for leading Latin singers including Estela Nuñez, Angélica María, Aida Cuevas, Lucha Villa and Enriqueta Jiménez.
Valadés made his film debut in 1975 in the movie Nobleza ranchera. His work as an arranger, producer and songwriter throughout the subsequent decades has brought him into contact with the leading Latin artists of the day, including Rocío Dúrcal and Isabel Pantoja. In addition to recording numerous hits on his own, Gabriel has produced albums for Rocio Durcal, Lucha Villa, Lola Beltran and Paul Anka. In 1984, he scored what is considered by many of his fans to be his greatest hit, Querida (My Dear) which stayed for over a year on the top of the hits chart.
Valadés is popular throughout the Spanish-speaking world and has sold over 30 million records worldwide. One of his best albums "Recuerdos Vol. II", which included his hit "Querida", sold 1.5 million copies in one month and a half just in Mexico.
During most of his career there was speculation of him being gay or not, because of his effeminate appearance and manners. He is reported to be gay by Spanish-language media. He has four children.
On 14 November 2005, Valadés was injured when he fell from the stage at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, and was hospitalized at the Texas Medical Center.
Juan Gabriel's entire song catalogue is published by BMG Music Publishing.