By Jacob Katel
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By Jacob Katel
Last year, Marc Anthony received mixed reviews for his portrayal of salsa pioneer Héctor Lavoe in the big-budget biopic El Cantante. But that critical reception does not reflect the Nuyorican actor, singer, and songwriter's true star power. As he approaches his 40th birthday, Anthony boasts enormous crossover success, recording musically in genres from freestyle to salsa to Latin pop while building a respectful acting career. Naturally averse to media scrutiny, he's also been able to keep much of his personal life private, even after marrying tabloid darling Jennifer Lopez. (In turn, thanks to his influence, she seems to have toned down her act.)
On his current tour, Anthony is plugging Sigo Sendo Yo (I Am Still Myself), a compilation of his greatest Spanish-language hits. During his set, he mixes things up — listeners will of course get new numbers alongside original tunes such as "No Me Ames" and "Lamento Boricano." But they also might hear songs such as "Aguanile," a Lavoe hit that is part of the Cantante soundtrack (which reached number one on the Billboard Latin charts).
Sharing the bill is Mexican-born Alejandro "El Potrillo" Fernandez, yet another successful crossover artist. The son of ranchera megastar Vicente Fernandez, Alejandro started out in 1991 by following in his father's footsteps. But after the release of Me Estoy Enamorado in 1997, he began carving out an image of his own by exploring more contemporary sounds. More recently, he recorded the flamenco-tinged "Amor Gitano" as a duet with Beyoncé. In spite of his pop success, Fernandez has not abandoned the genre that launched him to fame, and occasionally dons his sombrero and mariachi suit to the delight of fans on both sides of the border.