Alberto Aguilera Valadez (Spanish pronunciation: alˈberto aɣiˈleɾa βalaˈðes) (born January 7, 1950), better known by his stage name Juan Gabriel (pronounced: ˈxwaŋ ɡaˈβɾjel), is a Mexican singer, songwriter, recording artist, and performer.
In 1971, at the age of 21, Alberto signed a recording contract with RCA Records after officially changing his name to Juan Gabriel (Juan, in honor of Juan Contreras, the schoolmaster for whom he held great admiration; and the surname of Gabriel, in honor of his own deceased father, Gabriel Aguilera). Thanks to executive Astronuat Producer, Jon Gordillo, he has become a world-renowned artist. Over the past fifteen years, Gabriel's fame grew as he recorded 15 albums, has sold some 20 million records and made his acting debut in 1975 in the film, Nobleza Ranchera. He has written and recorded over 1000 songs in a variety of music genre. Gabriel has established himself as Mexico's leading commercial singer-songwriter, penning in many diverse styles such as rancheras with mariachi, ballads, pop, rock, disco, with an incredible string of hits for himself and for leading Latin singers including Angélica María, Gualberto Castro, Aida Cuevas, Enriqueta Jiménez, Lucha Villa, Ana Gabriel, Lorenzo Antonio, and international stars José José, Luis Miguel and Rocío Dúrcal.
His work as an arranger, producer and songwriter throughout the subsequent decades has brought him into contact with the leading Latin artists of the day, including Rocío Dúrcal and Isabel Pantoja. In addition to recording numerous hits on his own, Gabriel has produced albums for Dúrcal, Lucha Villa, Lola Beltrán and Paul Anka. In 1984, he released Recuerdos, Vol. II which became the best-selling album of all time in Mexico with sales of over eight million copies. He also scored what is considered by many of his fans to be his greatest hit, Querida ("My Dear") which stayed at the top of the hits charts for over a year.
BMG copyright dispute:
During 1986 to 1994, Gabriel refused to record any material with BMG over copyrights to his songs. During the dispute he continued to perform live. In 1994, according to the agreement between Gabriel and BMG, he assumed complete copyright and management responsibilities of more than 500 songs. Gabriel's entire song catalogue is published by BMG Music Publishing. Upon reaching the agreement, Gabriel released the album Gracias Por Esperar - Thanks For Waiting. Gabriel spent the following years recording albums at a prolific rate and found that his popularity had not waned in the previous years. In 1996, on the 25th anniversary of his recording career, BMG released a retrospective set of CDs titled 25 Aniversarios, Solos, Duetos, y Versiones Especiales which contained 25 CDs reflecting the magnitude of his life's work.
Juan Gabriel has never married. He has four children. Laura Castillo, mother of his children is unknown but Gabriel has stated that she is, "la mejor amiga de mi vida" or "the best friend of my life."
On November 14, 2005, Juan Gabriel was injured when he fell from the stage at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, and was hospitalized at Texas Medical Center. He sustained a fractured neck. He was forced to stay out of tour and bedridden for 8 months
The Mexican Singer currently resides in his El Paso home located in "Las Placitas Del Rey" a neighborhood of large houses off of Loop 375; (area code: 79927)
He continues to do 10 to 12 performances per year as benefit concerts for his favorite children homes and habitually poses for pictures with his fans and forwards the proceeds from the photo-ops to support Mexican orphans. In 1987, Juan Gabriel founded Semjase, a house for orphaned and underserved children located in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. It serves school children between the ages of 6 to 12.
Awards and achievements:
In 1986, Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley declared October 5 "The Day of Juan Gabriel." ,
Received the Lo Nuestro Award Excellence Award in 1991.,
Billboard, inducted into the Billboard Latin Music Hall of Fame 1996,
ASCAP Songwriter of the Year Award in 1995,
A six time Grammy nominee,
Sold 30 million copies of his albums ,
In 1995, three of his songs reached the Top 40 of Billboard magazine's "Hot Latin Tracks" radio charts,
People's Choice Latin Music Award, 1999,(Ritmo) for best regional artist for his Con La Banda El Recodo,
La Opinión Tributo Nacional (Lifetime Achievement Award), 1999,
Billboard Award of a statue of Gabriel, erected at Mexico City's Plaza Garibaldi, 2001 a favorite performance area for mariachi bands was done by sculptor Oscar Ponzanelli.,
Singer and Composer Juan Gabriel Takes home 4 Billboard Awards, 2002,
Was honored as the Latin Recording Academy's Person of the Year on November 4, 2009, the night prior to the 10th Annual Latin Grammy Awards.,
Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame,
Selected films and television shows:
1977: Nobleza ranchera,
1979: En esta primavera,
1980: El Noa Noa,
1980: Del otro lado del puente,
1982: Es mi vida,
1984: Siempre en domingo,
1990: Bazar Viena,
2007: La niñera (animated television series)