Alekk M. Saanders
Friday, 22 September 2023, 17:56
His romantic music, imposing image, and magnetic stage presence made him one of the best-selling artists of all time. Julio Iglesias has sold hundreds of millions of albums in more than a dozen languages - in Spanish and English, French and Portuguese, Italian and even Tagalog, Japanese and Bahasa Indonesian. Forty years ago, the Guinness Book of World Records handed him the Diamond Record Award to recognise that he had recorded more discs in more languages than any singer in history.
Julio Iglesias was born in Madrid on 23 September, 1943, but his maternal grandfather, Jose María de la Cueva, was pure 'Andaluz' and a well known journalist in southern Spain. Unsurprisingly, that Andalucía has always welcomed the world-known personality back home to the land of his roots.
Iglesias visited the Costa del Sol long before he rose to fame as a singer and songwriter. After a serious car accident at the beginning of the 60s, he was partially paralysed and was forced to give up his football career he began as a teenager.
Iglesias's long period of rehabilitation partly took place in Torremolinos. The young man is reported to have spent long periods of time on the beaches in La Carihuela recovering from his back injury in the company of his father, a doctor by profession. With his help and firm faith Julio Iglesias regained the ability to walk and even went soon after to the United Kingdom to study English.
The singer returned to Torremolinos as a celebrity. He was invited as headliner at the 1st 'Español Pop' Summer Gala, organised by Radio Juventud, La Voz de Málaga. On 17 July 1973, Iglesias performed at the Palacio de Congresos in Torremolinos where he was proclaimed the most international Spanish singer of the year and was presented with a trophy.
At the end of the 80s, Iglesias inaugurated Andalusian television. In 1989, Andalucía joined Catalonia, the Basque Country and Galicia as the only Spanish regions with their own regional television channel. The show by Iglesias, and a message from the president of the regional government, opened the broadcasts of Canal Sur.
Julio Iglesias was a regular visitor to the Costa del Sol. The singer used to give concerts from time to time in Marbella and attend bullfighting in Malaga. Nowadays the famous singer apparently stays within his 'Bermuda triangle' of homes: Miami, Punta Cana in Dominican Republic and the Bahamas. However, some years ago he spent his summers in Ojén, nine kilometres from Marbella.
Some decades ago Julio Iglesias bought an estate called Las Cuatro Lunas. On the slope of the mountains above Marbella, the vast estate, containing several luxury properties, covers more than 450 hectares with all kinds of services, amenities and relaxation areas: a tennis court, two heliports, a wine cellar with a capacity of 2,000 bottles and three swimming pools. The grounds feature a forest and are criss-crossed by private footpaths. Las Cuatro Lunas was considered one of Iglesias's most secret hideaways.
On 24 August 2010, a secret and intimate wedding took place at Las Cuatro Lunas. In the estate's chapel , built specially for the wedding, Iglesias and Dutch model Miranda Johanna Maria Rijnsburger got married after a 20-year relationship. The couple, with their daughters Cristina and Victoria, liked to spend their summers on the Costa del Sol. The singer used to take refuge there when he toured Europe. However, in 2018, Julio Iglesias surprisingly put Las Cuatro Lunas up for sale for 145 million euros.
In 2009, the Diputación de Malaga named Julio Iglesias Adopted Son of the Province for his links with the area, namely, having had Ojén and Marbella as places of residence in Spain for years. Thus the provincial authority recognised the work done by the singer to promote the province of Malaga. In the interview with SUR, the singer considered this title "one of the greatest honours" he had ever received in his life and it filled him "with unimaginable happiness". "I am happy, say it clearly: thank you Málaga," the singer stressed.
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