Luis Miguel is truly the model for the modern-day male Latin pop star. Romeo Santos, Prince Royce, Luis Fonsi, Maluma and anyone who’s crooned a romantic quip and been inundated with lingerie onstage is in debt to the original master of romance. This weekend, as LuisMi turns 50 on April 19, we honor his illustrious career and catalogue, which spans four decades.
As a direct response to tabloid fodder, he became increasingly private and decided to let his music speak for itself. Then he invented a genre, bolero pop. On 1991’s Romance he covered classic boleros by Tito Rodríguez, Roberto Cantoral and César Portillo de la Luz, spinning the tradition for a new generation who treated the songs as fresh discoveries and their singer as a god.
His subsequent albums — Segundo Romance, Romances and Mis Romances — garnered him more international acclaim and awards, including Grammys and Latin Grammys. The attraction was simple: Luis Miguel’s ballads were lush with emotion, desire and passion, and the ladies loved him. The adulation wasn’t lost on the rest of the world, or on other legends of the croon. He was one of the only Latin stars to ever record with Frank Sinatra — at the request of Ol’ Blue Eyes himself.