who has been a part of the Latin music
explosion of the last decade or so.
Secada (real name: Juan Secada; DOB: October 4, 1962, Havana, Cuba) moved to Miami during his youth and attained both a bachelor's degree and a Masters degree in jazz vocal performance at the University of Miami.
This gave Secada a solid musical and vocal background. Meeting Emilio and Gloria Estefan gave him the break he needed. Secada co-wrote several of Estefan's songs (including "Coming Out of the Dark" and also was a background vocalist for her Miami Sound Machine during the late 1980s and early 1990s).
All this experience prepared Secada well, as he released his first album, self-titled, in May 1992. The deep lyrics, great vocals, and beat took the debut album to #15 on Billboard's charts, with the song "Just Another Day" reaching into the top 5.
The album's Spanish-language version (named Otro Dia Mas Sin Verte) won Secada the Best Latin Pop Album Grammy Award.
Secada's 2nd English album, Heart Soul & A Voice was released in 1994 and went platinum. Notable singles off that album include If You Go and Mental Picture.
From there, Secada disappeared for a while from the pop music scene, acting on Broadway in "Grease". However, in 1995, he released another Spanish-language album Amor, which won Secada his 2nd Grammy, this time for Best Latin Pop Performance.
In 1997, Secada released the English-language album "Secada", which featured the song Too Late, Too Soon.
His latest English-language album, Better Part of Me was released in July 2000, with the song Stop getting significant radio play.
While his more recent albums have not had the success of his earlier efforts, Secada's staying power is noteworthy. He arrived on the music scene years before Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, etc etc., and seems to be still going strong.
On a personal note, although I tend to dislike sappy love songs, I can listen to Secada's albums all day (and have). His songs are generally smooth, yet with a nice Latin beat and solid lyrics.
Jon Secada official website (www.jon-secada.com)
Rock On The Net (http://www.rockonthenet.com/artists-s/jonsecada_main.htm)
Rolling Stone (http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/default.asp?oid=876)