In many ways, you could consider this Madrid transplant a Latin-pop pioneer: he was one the first Spanish-language artists to play before arena-size audiences in the US (a feat accomplished during his 1997 “Vivir” tour) without the support of a crossover hit. In addition to that, his 2002 video for “Quizás” was the first Spanish-language tune played on MTV’s “Total Request Live” and to be performed on Jay Leno, a fact that opened the doors to Latin artists like Juanés, Shakira and Uruguay’s Jorge Drexler to have their non-English material promoted on major TV networks. At 33 years of age, Iglesias has comfortably settled into superstar status thanks to the success that his recordings in both languages have had in both the American and European continents. As a songwriter, he has successfully placed tunes in the hands of Clay Aiken, Melanie C and others (he has been quoted that if he ever retires from singing he will dedicate himself to writing tunes and production), and in the meantime he has done small acting stints on TV shows and movies (one of the most memorable being his role as an evil Roman emperor on the “We Will Rock You” Pepsi commercial a few years back). On the current tour, he is plugging two separate compilations of his Spanish and English hits (the latter slated for release later this year) that predictably include several previously unreleased songs. (Ernest Barteldes)
September 27 at Allstate Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim, Rosemont, (847)635-6601. 7:30pm. $45-$150.