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Interview: Spanish singer tells his decades-long love for China

Xinhua, September 28, 2015 Adjust font size:

Spanish singer Julio Iglesias, who was touring Mexico to promote his latest album entitled "Mexico," talked about his passion for China since his visit to the country in 1980s, and praised its culture in a recent interview with Xinhua.

"I want to feel how the Chinese people feel. They are strong, solid, progressive and modern," said the singer, turning 72 on Wednesday.

Having sold over 250 million copies in 14 languages with a record of 80 albums, Iglesias, one of the biggest stars of Latin music, was also the first Hispanic singer to sing live on China's state television channel CCTV in 1988.

"The world is fascinated with what is happening in China. It is culturally rich and is becoming a strong force in the global market," said Iglesias.

In 2013, he received an award from Sony Music China for being the first and most popular international artist of all time in China, which was presented to him by Chinese pianist Lang Lang.

"I was very excited by this award. To be the most popular international artist in China fills me with pride. I have always had a great affinity with Asia and China," said Iglesias.

He also praised Mexico's rich musical tradition, saying that "you can sing in 100 different ways in Mexico and leave the people want more."

According to Iglesias, his new album, a homage to Mexican composers, is more daring than his past work as it seeks to make Mexican music more contemporary without spoiling its authenticity, such as mariachi music.

"Mexico's modern history was born from mariachi music. I like to sing and hear these songs in a different way," the Spanish singer said.

The 12-song album includes a classic Mexican song, "Juan Charrasqueado," which has previously been sung by singers such as Jorge Negrete.

"I heard this song for the first time with Chabela Vargas (a Costa-Rican born Mexican singer) and loved it as it is a real part of Mexican culture. It is a Shakespearean story within Mexican music, charting a love story of a man who is eventually killed. It is very well-written," said Iglesias.

Iglesias said that he will embark on another international tour in 2016 and 2017 that he hopes will include China.

However, he concluded the interview with a sad note for his fans, saying that "Mexico" will be his last album, although he may still feature in duets with other artists. "I want to sing live all over the world...but I do not want to spend more hours and months in a studio," he said. Endi