Joan Sebastian is the alias of Mexican singer-songwriter and actor José Manuel Figueroa Figueroa (born on April 8th, 1951), whose mixture of Latin pop and ranchera music propelled him into stardom in both his home country and the US. Throughout his decades-long career, Sebastian penned more than 1,000 songs and became one of the most awarded artists in Mexican history. After dropping out of seminary school, he managed to get his music career started by releasing a couple of singles under his own name. In 1977, he was signed by Discos Musart, who convinced him to change his name. He settled on Joan Sebastian, as a tribute to San Sebastián, the place where he worked during his childhood. Things went uphill for Sebastian after the single “El camino del amor” was released. The song quickly became an international hit, selling more than 130,000 copies and topping the charts in South America and the US. Sebastian then moved to Chicago, where he worked a couple of odd jobs before meeting an event organizer from Texas, who helped him get his career back on track. During the 80s, Sebastian scored a couple of hits with the songs “Juliantla,” an ode to his hometown, and “Maracas,” a duet with singer Alberto Vázquez. Following his acting debut on the telenovela Tú y yo in 1996, Sebastian came back in full force with Secreto de amor (2000). The album was certified platinum four times in the US and won Best Regional Mexican Album at the Lo Nuestro Awards. Lo Dijo El Corazón (2002) peaked at Number 3 on Billboard’s Regional Mexican Albums and earned Sebastian a Grammy for Best Mexican/Mexican-American Album. In recognition of his career, he was inducted to Billboard Latin’s Music Hall of Fame in 2006 and received the Golden Note Award in 2007. Sebastian remained active during the subsequent years, releasing a series of highly-successful albums before succumbing to bone cancer in 2015.