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Julio Iglesias interview

July 2003

HAVING failed biology at O level, I’m no expert on bodily functions but that Julio’s trying to pull the sombrero over me eyes. We’re talking about his twin girls, born two years ago to his girlfriend Miranda, who is almost half his age (and why not?).
“We make love two times a day, so we get two babies. We made love morning and night. And I sing at the same time.”
So now you know — make love twice a day and you get twins. The singing is optional, one assumes.
The interview with the heart-melting Spanish balladeer isn’t what I’d expected. He is quite excitable and chatty, swearing on occasion, and though his English is better than my Spanish, it’s hard to catch what he’s saying most of the time.
I only know the one hit, the 1984 duet with Willie Nelson — To All The Girls I Loved Before — so half expected that sort of pace and clarity to his speech.
“I am Julio, calling you from another part of the world.” He’s in the Dominican Republic. Not on holiday. He doesn’t have holidays.
“My life is a holiday,” he says. “Have you been here?” To the Dominican Republic, no. “Never in the Caribbean?” No. “NEVER in the Caribbean?!?” he asks, incredulously. Blimey, rich bloke, what do you think I’m made of...? Tell you what, you send me some money... “Ah, nah, nah, nah...” Aye, thought not.
He says something else but I have no idea what. To be fair, the line isn’t too clear. Of course, I could ask him to repeat what he says but that would make for a tedious 20 minutes. Instead, I take the coward’s way forward and say “yes”, “right” and laugh at odd intervals.

I’m fine, thanks, I say. “No, how old are you?” 36. “At 36, I used to make love...” To what is lost in a blur of Spanished English, in the style of The Fast Show’s Channel 9 newscasts. Julio has made love, we know. He and Miranda have four children, adding to the three he has from his first marriage. The most famous is of course Enrique, a pop idol in his own right. You can imagine the conversation over breakfast at Iglesias Villas. Enrique: “Papa, I am a worldwide pop idol, the ladies adore me, the men want to be me.” Julio: “Been there, done that, sonny, and I can still show you a thing or two. And Enrique, pop music is very much like making love to a beautiful woman...”
To date, Iglesias Snr has released 77 albums and sold more than 267 million copies of them. He is the King of Latin pop. And he knows it.
“I opened the doors, for sure. “I am very proud to be the biggest Latino artist in history.” Then he says lots of other things, which are inaudible. Didn’t he teach little Enrique all he knows?
“I didn’t teach him anything. He found his own way,” he confesses. The same goes for Julio Jnr, also a pop idol, topping charts in Latino countries. Expect him in Britain soon, says dad proudly.

Julio Jose Iglesias de La Cueva was born in Madrid 60 years ago. His father was an eminent physician but Julio chose not to follow in his footsteps. Wasn’t he disappointed? “He was disappointed at first. I said I want to be a professional singer and my father said ‘what are you talking about?’. But one day we are in the house and I am playing guitar and he said ‘oh!’. And he became the first fan. He’d go to the neighbours and say ‘my son is singing on television’.”
Initially Julio studied law but spent every waking hour either thinking about or playing footie, ending up in goal for Dave Beckham’s new club, Real Madrid. These dreams however, were soon shattered when a near-fatal car accident left him partially paralysed and unable to walk for almost two years. During his recuperation he played guitar and... oh you see where it’s going...
Despite failing to win glory for Spain at the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest (losing to Dana’s All Kinds of Everything), within a year he’d sold his first million records. By 1983 the Guinness Book of World Records recognised his achievement for selling more records in more languages than any other musical artist in history. In 1985, a star with his name was unveiled on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. And there’s loads more to brag about, involving charities, presidents and broken records. And broken hearts.
The super-tanned balladeer can still make the mums and grannies think about things they’d long forgotten. So, Mr Loverman, what’s your advice to the young men of Nottingham? Apart from singing when you’re...
“If I would have advices for that I would advice my own self.”

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