Julio Iglesias turns 80: the last crooner of the century, trickster and lord of the ‘cuore’

Julio Iglesias turns 80 this Saturday, September 23. To write about Julio is to write about a planetary star of melodic music, of the last crooner stellar, straddling two centuries and, also, a great character from the world of the heart. They were golden years and I was with Isabel Preysler.

Julio and Isabel’s marriage lasted seven years, from 1971 to 1978. They had Chabeli, Enrique and Julio José. By then, Preysler had already emerged as the great queen of Heart.

For several decades we knew Julio Iglesias as Julio. As is well. There was no other Julio. He brought together all the glamor that can be found in those photographs of his residences in Miami, the Bahamas or the Dominican Republic. He posed barefoot, dressed in white linen, with those mandarin collar shirts, his skin tanned all year round and a smile with perfect nuclear teeth.

His father, kidnapped by ETA

In 1981, his father, Dr. Iglesias Puga, was kidnapped by ETA. After 20 days of captivity, the police find him in Trasmoz, Zaragoza. This dramatic episode causes his children to move to their house in Miami. The media of the time published that the singer earned around 3,000 million pesetas just in copyright and intellectual property rights (about 18 million euros). “I don’t know how much money I have,” he once told Iñaki Gabilondo, as he reports Blood ties.

The life of the Madrid artist is punctuated by macro figures: 3,000 lovers attributed to him, according to the magazine Maxim. Among others, Vaitiare, Giannina Facio and actress Sydne Rome. Eight children (three with Preysler and five with Miranda) and the paternity claimed by Javier Sánchez, whose DNA test was rejected by the judge. And more information: he has been married to the Dutch Miranda Rynsburger since 2010, after two decades of relationship.

Beyond his eventful love life, the singer has always been a star. He has always lived in the spotlight and has taken extreme care of his image, his hair and his tan. Flirty and manic, he posed in front of the cameras showing his good profile. His aesthetic touches were a source of controversy in Blood ties, when Ana Obregón came to his defense and said “I don’t give a damn”, highlighting all the cosmic milestones achieved by the Madrid native. He is also a pleasure activist. He loves the mundane, earthly pleasure, wine and Galician seafood cooked to perfection.

Real Madrid, in the heart

Iglesias’ heart is divided: half belongs to music, with which he turns 55, and the other half is for Real Madrid. The accident he suffered in 1962 cut short his career as a footballer for the white club. During his recovery, he devoted himself to a guitar, his poems and his songs. It was then when he composed what would be one of his most emblematic hits, Gwendolyne.

Then came the Benidorm International Song Festival. In 1968 he proclaimed himself the winner with Life goes on and there began the career of the most international Spanish crooner. He reached the top of music as the Latin artist who has sold the most albums in history, with more than 300 million. He has recorded in 14 languages ​​and released 80 albums. Among the multiple Grammys, he has other recognitions, such as the Gold Medal for Merit in the Fine Arts of Spain, the Legion of Honor of France and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Among his hits, With the same stone, I forgot to live, I am a scoundrel, I am a gentleman, From girl to woman, It suits me, it suits me o Quixote.

“Down, down, down”

It is impossible to ignore the role that Dr. Iglesias Puga, Papuchi, played in Julio’s life. The gynecologist, divorced from Rosario de la Cueva, fell in love again. From his ups and downs, it was Ronna Keith, 48 years his junior, who held his heart. They had two children: James and little Ruth. Papuchi, who went viral with his “weird, weird, weird,” was 90 years old when he got Ronna pregnant. The baby was born shortly after the doctor’s death, in 2005.

Your health: “I’m DPM”

In recent months, some information emerged claiming that his health had suffered. Iglesias, concerned about the commotion, took to Instagram to deny everything: “I have chosen a little time of solitude,” he was talking about a break away from the public spotlight to focus on his memories.

“I read again everywhere that I am in a wheelchair, with my mind lost and that I don’t even remember my songs, how can one be so ill-intentioned and accumulate so much evil,” he wrote. “For those who have made me doubt my health, I would tell them that I am DPM, but for the people who truly love me for so many years, I would tell them that I have never had my mind clearer,” shared the interpreter of I am a scoundrel, I am a lord and of Hey.

The singer has lived away from the cameras for years in his mansions in the exclusive Indian Creek, in Miami, halfway between the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic. With those words, Julio settled rumors about his fragile state of health, his mobility and even his cognitive abilities.


The networks have prepared specials about his life and career to honor him on his 80th birthday. As we published, Julio Iglesias does not want great recognition. TVE has broadcast two episodes of Blood ties dedicated to the artist.