Juan Esteban Aristizbal Vásquez is a well-known musician in Colombia. He was born in Medellin, Antioquia on August 9TH, 1972. When he was five years old, his five brothers taught him how to play the flute, and when he was seven he started playing the guitar. At age of nine, Juanes moved with his family to Venezuela, where his parents taught him how to play the electric piano. One year later he moved back to Colombia. Having acquainted with music since a child, help him decide to choose music as a career without any professional knowledge, so he dropped out of his university as an industrial designer.
In 1987 he started a new band called Ekhymosis; therefore, Juanes reached fame in many Latin countries. The band was based on thrash metal, but later they play tropical rhythms, pop and rock. The band’s members were: Alex Oquendo, Esteban Mora, Andrés García, Felipe Zárate and Juanes.
Their lyrics talked about the violence in Medellin and other problems in Colombia like narcotics. The band releasedthese albums:
- Desde Arriba Es Diferente (1989)
- De Rodillas (1992)
- Niño Gigante (1993)
- Ciudad Pacífico (1994)
- Amor Bilingüe (1995)
- Unplugged (1996)
- Ekhymosis (1997)
In 1999 the group disbanded, so with this experience Juanes continued alone. Being in the band catapulted his fame on the future.
Through the years Juanes has won a lot of awards which are:
• 20 Latin Grammys: Best artist, best rock album, best rock songs, song of the year, best recording, best solo artist and best music video.
• 2 Grammys: Best album of the year.
• 9 MTV: Best artist of the year and best solo.
• 9 "Premios lo Nuestro". 12 "Premios Nuestra Tierra". Winner of "Festival Internacional de la canción Viña del Mar"
• Character of the year (Billboard Magazine)
• Star of the decade (Billboard Magazine)
Also in his entire career he did some albums like:
• Fijate bien (2000)
• Un dia normal (2002)
• Mi sangre (2003)
• Mi sangre (2004)
• La vida es un ratico (2007)
• P.A.R.C.E. (2010)
• MTV unplugged (2012)
• Loco de amor (2014)
According to the awards he won, the most recognised songs (Billboard Magazine) are:
• Volverte a ver
• La vida es un ratico (7 million of sold)
• Para tu amor
• Me enamora
• La camisa negra (No. 1 in 7 countries because of lyrics).
Juanes sings, composes and produce all the songs in his discography. His complete dedication to the work is one of the reasons for his successful musical career. As a matter of fact, when he became a solo artist, the company Universal Music Group signed him. Using love as the main topic in all his lyrics and the combination of tropical rhythms, rock and pop, make all his songs real hits in the music industries.
He is married to the former queen of Cartagena Karen Martinez, with whom he has 2 daughters called Luna and Paloma, and his son called Dante. His stage name, Juanes is his childhood's nickname. Juanes has sold nearly 14 million copies worldwide. After spending 15 years with the same guitar, the company sponsors him with 15 guitars a year. He does not like politics, because in his words, I basically do not understand". Additionally, on the social media like Twitter and Facebook, he has more than 6 million of followers (Twitter: 7 million and Facebook: 6 million).
Influence in Colombia
Despite all his fame and money, Juanes spends most of his time managing his foundation "Mi Sangre". This foundation was based on helping people affected by landmines. Because of the violence in Colombia, Juanes is committed to help in reconciliation among Colombians. Another foundation is Parque Juanes de la Paz" a rehabilitation center. He also has one of the biggest concerts on world's peace called "Paz sin Fonteras , which sends a message on the world's issues. He invites Juan Luis Guerra, Miguel Bose, Carlos Vives, Alejandro Sanz, Juan Fernando Velasco and Ricardo Montaner to participate in the concert.