Juan Luis Guerra

With a career spanning nearly four decades of music, Dominican singer-songwriter and producer Juan Luis Guerra is one of the best-selling Latin music artists of all time. His music style encompasses a whole host of genres, ranging from traditional Caribbean rhythms such as bachata and merengue to rock, jazz, and reggae. Born Juan Luis Guerra Seijas on June 7, 1957, in Santo Domingo, he studied guitar at the city's national conservatory and later majored in jazz composition at the renowned Berklee College of Music in 1982. Upon his return to the Dominican Republic, Juan Luis Guerra assembled a group of local musicians (later known as '440') to record his studio debut, the jazz-flavored Soplando (1984). After signing with Karen Records, the group began incorporating more elements from merengue and bachata into their compositions, as evident in releases like Mudanza y Acarreo (1985), Mientras Más Lo Pienso... Tú (1987), and Ojalá Que Llueva Café (1988). Slowly but surely, Juan Luis Guerra and 440 became one of the most celebrated acts in Latin music, hitting their artistic and commercial peak in the early '90s with the album Bachata Rosa (1991). Driven by the singles "Burbujas de Amor," "La Bilirrubina," and "Estrellitas y Duendes," Bachata Rosa went on to sell over 5 million copies and won Best Tropical Latin Album at the Grammy Awards. Juan Luis Guerra's eclectic musical journey continued on the folkloric Areíto (1992) and Fogaraté (1994), both of which found him exploring pre-Columbian rhythms native to the Dominican Republic. Recorded after his conversion to Christianity, 1998's Ni Es Lo Mismo Ni Es Igual won Best Merengue Album at the 1st Annual Grammy Awards thanks to the singles "Mi PC," "Palomita Blanca," and "El Niágara en Bicicleta." In 2004, his first Christian LP Para Ti snatched the top spot of Billboard's Tropical Albums chart; a feat he would repeat on La Llave de Mi Corazón (2007), and A Son de Guerra (2010). Even though his output waned during the next few years, he remained a regular presence on the Latin charts through collaborations with Enrique Iglesias, Luis Fonsi, and Romeo Santos, as well as with the albums Colección Cristiana (2012), Todo Tiene Su Hora (2014) and Literal (2019).

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