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Juanes

Colombian rock singer Juanes originally rose to fame as the singer of the metal band Ekhymosis, but embarked on a highly successful solo career in 1998 that saw his albums topping charts throughout Latin America, but most notably in Colombia, Spain, and Mexico.  Juanes, whose real name is Juan Aristizabal was born in the department of Antioquia, close to Medellin, in 1972.  

 Juanes 1

Coming of age at the height of Pablo Escobar's reign of terror, Juanes was personally impacted by the instability and violence of Colombia in the 1980s, seeing a cousin kidnapped and murdered, and a close friend shot to death.  He also lost his father to cancer at a young age.  Juanes's music reflects much of this inner angst, and in addition to being a world-famous musician, he is a noted peace activist.

Juanes has released five studio albums, and in 2012 released an MTV Unplugged album.  In 2000 he released Fijate Bien (Look Closely), but it was 2002's Un Dia Normal (A Normal Day) that put his name on the map with the hits "Fotografia" with Canadian singer Nelly Furtado, and "A Dios Le Pido", which deals with the Colombian armed conflict.  2004's Mi Sangre (My Blood) also was a huge success and featured the hit single "Camisa Negra."

Juanes 2

Juanes has been a noted peace activist, actively campaigning against the use of landmines and he supports many charity efforts to aid the victims of landmines, especially children.  During the 2008 Andean Diplomatic Crisis between Colombia and Ecuador, he organized a free concert to promote the peace process.  The concert took place on the Colombian-Venezuelan border, and featured artists from around Latin America.

Juanes 3

Juanes has also been a strong advocate for the Spanish language and culture.  He sings almost exclusively in Spanish, although he has performed on rare occasions in English.  Juanes currently lives in Key Biscayne, Florida, but maintains an active presence in Colombia.  If you aren't familiar with Juanes, take a listen to some of his most popular music here:

A Dios Le Pido (I Ask God)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMIaYXxLnUA

La Camisa Negra (The Black Shirt)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRt2sRyup6A

 Fotografia (Photography)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flr8vDQ9Wuc

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