By Jacob Katel
By Laurie Charles
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
His rapid success, says Jordi, "made my father so proud."
But that scenario was not as harmonious for Spanish romantic megastar Julio Iglesias and son Enrique, at least as it played out in the media. When the young Iglesias burst onto the music scene in 1996, managed by Fernan Martinez (previously Iglesias Sr.'s press agent), he achieved almost overnight what it had taken his father years to accomplish. And when he reached the coveted crossover into the Anglo market in spite of harsh criticism of his vocal abilities, he overshadowed much of what his father and siblings, Julio José (who had an ill-fated music career and is attempting a second go) and Chabeli (once a TV host), had accomplished.
Publicist Rodriguez, who worked with Julio Iglesias in the early 1980s, believes that a lot of the alleged rivalry was hyped. Still, she grants, "maybe there was something weird between them, but the love and nurturing that Julio feels as a father for his son has not been affected."
According to Martinez, who in spite of legal problems between them speaks fondly of his former protégé, the Iglesias name was something he played down to focus on Enrique the singer and not Enrique the son of Julio.
"We had to be really tenacious in getting our message across of who he was," says Martinez, currently managing Colombian singer/songwriter Juanes. "Julio's enemies would say, 'Well, Julio doesn't sing, so what does his son know about singing?' And the friends would say, 'Oh, he's riding on his father's coattails.' And those were the friends! That's why Enrique did his first album on his own, without his father knowing. And when we shopped it around, we didn't use his last name. Some people even thought it belonged to a new Central American singer."
What does he make of rising talents such as Alejandro Montaner and Jordi?
"In the short run there will be some positive publicity created by the name," says Martinez. "But in the long run the artist will have to prove that he's not a marketing product. Radio, the public, the media, will be curious, then something will have to come through to demonstrate he's worthy of the name, of having a career, and of people going out there to buy his album."