Julio Iglesias, who will be 70 this year, is the most internationally successful Spanish performer of all time. In fact, he has sold more than 300 million records worldwide in 14 languages and released 80 albums.
Julio studied law in Madrid and at the same time embarked on a promising career as a Real Madrid footballer. At the age of 19 a serious car accident left him with severe spinal injuries and it was thought that he would never walk again. During his long and tedious recovery Julio became interested in music and poetry and was given a guitar as a present by one of his nurses.
His singing career started whilst studying English in Cambridge where he sang 60s pop songs in English pubs. On his return to Spain he was signed up by a record company and rather unexpectedly won the International Song Festival in Benidorm in 1968.
In 1970 he came fourth in the Eurovision Song contest with “Gwendolyne”. The winner that year was Dana’s “All Kinds of Everything”. Watch them both on Youtube and make your own judgement! Despite not winning Eurovision, the song became a huge success in Spanish speaking countries and marked the beginning of his international singing and song-writing career.
In the seventies Julio was married to the glamorous Isabel Preysler, mother of three of his children, including pop singer Enrique Iglesias. In 2010 he married his long term partner, Miranda Rijnsburger, with whom he has five other children, the youngest being born when he was 64 years old. This ageing paternity is vastly surpassed by his father, Julio Iglesias Sr. who became a father at 89 years of age and again posthumously seven months after his death at the age of 90.