Latin pop crooner Ricardo Arjona emerged in the 1980s with power ballads and anthemic, sing-along hits but, unlike most balladeers, has taken on politics, sexuality and religion in his songs and gone on to sell more than 40 million records over the course of his career. Growing up in Guatemela during a military dictatorship, Arjona started playing guitar at the age of seven and competed in local talent contests in his youth. He was also a talented basketball player who toured with the Guatemala national team and, after graduating from university, he worked as a school teacher and kick-started his music career by releasing debut album 'Dejame Decir Que Te Amo' in 1985. Things took off in earnest when Arjona's song 'Con Una Estrella En El Vientre' was entered in the 1988 OTI Festival competition and his follow-up single 'Por Que Es Tan Cruel El Amor' became popular in Mexico and Argentina alongside album 'Jesus, Verbo No Sustantivo'. Signed to Sony Records, Arjona had different personas as a smouldering, romantic heartthrob, a socially conscious protest singer and an eccentric, storytelling poet, but began finding an audience in the US with single 'Mujeras' and album 'Animal Nocturno' in 1993. Other successful albums include 'Historias', which topped the Argentinian charts and sold over two million copies, 'Galeria Caribe' which reached number one on the Billboard Latin Chart and 'Adentro' which won the Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Album in 2007. He also played 35 consecutive nights at the Luna Park stadium in Buenos Aires and embarked on major world tours. He continued to write about challenging issues such as immigration, racism and violence and experimented with salsa, bacatcha and stripped-down acoustic styles. Despite sneering critics decrying his "false poetry", Arjona went on release his 15th studio album 'Circo Soledad' in 2017.