Julio Iglesias takes the stage at Paris

Oct 17, 2001 2:00 AM

Julio Iglesias remains one of the most popular Latin singers of all time, breaking records as he delves deeply into his heart and soul with each new project. Friday, through Sunday, at 9 p.m., he brings his World Tour to Paris Las Vegas. For ticket information, call (702) 946-4567 or (877) 374-7469.

Iglesias studied law in hopes of becoming a career diplomat, even though his first love lied on the soccer field. A remarkable athlete, he later landed his dream job as a goalkeeper for the professional team Real Madrid. These dreams however, were soon shattered when a car accident left him partially paralyzed and unable to walk for almost two years.

While recovering, Iglesias started playing guitar and writing songs. In 1968, he was a contestant at the Spanish Song Festival at Benidorm, singing his original song “La Vida Sigue Igual.” Iglesias won the first prize at the contest, which led to a record contract.

During the 70s, he toured Europe and Latin America, gaining a large fan base with hits like 1975’s “Manuela.” By the end of the decade, he was so popular, CBS International sought out a contract with him. He signed with them and began to record not only in Spanish, but in Italian and French as well. At the turn of the decade, Iglesias began to concentrate on his English recordings. In 1981, his cover of “Begin the Beguine” became a number one hit. The compilation record Julio quickly followed it. However, his major crossover success was 1984’s 1100 Bel Air Place, a collection of duets. Featuring the Top 10 hit duet with Willie Nelson “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before,” the album sold over three million copies in America.

The man who wrote his first hit thirty years ago has gone on to earn over 2,600 platinum and gold records. He has recorded 76 albums and sold over 250 million copies. A perfectionist, he is his own worst critic and always striving to improve his abilities.