For having earned multiple platinum records, becoming the first Colombian artist to snag a Grammy for Best Traditional Tropical Album, holding the record for Latin Grammy nominations, and being married to a former Miss Colombia, Carlos Vives is a pretty humble guy.
"It's an amazing feeling," he says, "when we face the public and realize how much people enjoy our music."
Maybe Vives' humility is what has forged such a special bond between him and his amiradores, who (prior to his recent return from an eight-year hiatus) still devotedly jammed to the last album of original songs, 2004's El Rock De Mi Pueblo.
Almost a decade since the debut of the Latin Grammy award-winning Best Contemporary Tropical Album, the Colombian singer did some soul searching, experienced a musical rebirth, and recently released his new album, Corazón Profundo.
Now, el vallenato is trotting the Americas on his Como Le Gusta A Mi Pueblo tour, which will make a Miami stop at the American Airlines Arena on July 13.
Although Vives' music has evolved from the days of his career-making hit, "Fruta Fresca," to the mature pop of "Como Tu" and Corazón Profundo's "Como Le Gusta a Tu Cuerpo," featuring Michel Teló, his youthful enthusiasm remained untouched.
"I think the change has been a natural progression. I think I know how to make things better today and I'm more developed. It's stronger, more concrete, but my spirit and motivation doesn't change."
Officially, Vives broke his eight-year silence with the 2012 release of the single "Volví a Nacer," which he says was written for his wife.
"As artists, our inspiration is the love that we have for our spouses, our kids. All of my songs are inspired by the different kinds of love. ["Volví A Nacer"] was the first song we released and [it] has brought us good things."
"I wrote it for my wife," Vives explains, "because she worked very hard to connect me to the industry after seven years."
"Volví a Nacer" may be the song that Vives credits for his successful return to music biz, but his musical themes and ability to fuse traditional Colombian folk with contemporary Latin pop may be the larger reason.
"I've never wanted to exclude anyone from my audience," he says. "It's always been my style. The themes don't exclude kids. It's very organic, rhythmic, and joyful.
"I think that the nature of what I do attracts all audiences. It's not something I do on purpose, it just happens naturally. This makes my very happy because I know I'll have work in the future!"
In fact, prior to the release of Corazón Profundo, Vives popularized the prose of Colombian poet Rafael Pombo with the production of Pombo Musical, which won the 2009 Latin Grammy for Best Children's Album.
But if Vives' music is a reflection of who the singer is as a person, then his actions speak louder than his lyrics.
As a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, Vives has performed in the 2008 Paz Sin Fronteras/Peace Without Borders concert in Cuba and he was also invited to participate in the Continuing Promise 2012 humanitarian aid campaign by the U.S. Navy.
"It's humbling and joyful," he beams. "Every time I could collaborate with other causes, especially with children, I go for it. We have worked with UNICEF and have had the chance to better the quality of life of children."
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Through his music and humanitarian work, Vives hopes to spread the message of unity.
"Our music is born in a very lively country with very nice, caring people," he says. "Our music, I feel, is music for everyone. It unites us in spite of our differences, even with friends who don't speak Spanish. It has the power to unite."
Carlos Vives. Saturday, July 13. American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. The show starts at 8:30 p.m., and tickets cost $12-$143 plus fees via ticketmaster.com. Call 786-777-1000 or visit aaarena.com.