José José

José José

Infobox musical artist 2
Name = José José

Img_capt =
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = José Romulo Sosa Ortiz
Born = birth date and age|1948|2|17
Died =
Origin = Mexico City, Mexico
Genre = Latin Pop – Ballad – Bolero – Bossa Nova – Jazz
Occupation = Singer – Double bassist – Guitarist – Producer – Actor
Years_active = 1965—2008
Label = Ariola - Sony BMG

José Romulo Sosa Ortiz (born February 17, 1948), better known in the entertainment world as José José or El Príncipe de la Canción (The Prince of Song). Because of his technically skilled vocals, performance and popularity, he is considered one of the most important singers from Mexico.

Early life

José was born into a family of musicians: his father was an operatic tenor and his mother a classical pianist. They never achieved relative large success, and when José began to show interest in singing, they tried to discourage him, claiming that it was too difficult to achieve success in show business. His father was an alcoholic singer who didn't accept anything in his house but opera and classical music. José learned advanced singing techniques and started playing guitar, bass and keyboards.

José continued his attempts to become a singer. By his teens, he had launched his own career with serenades. Then he started singing and playing the bass and double bass with a bossa nova jazz band called "Los Peg". His main influences among others were Frank Sinatra and Johnny Mathis. They played most of the time in night clubs and opening local jazz festivals. He signed a small contract of two singles, releasing the songs "El Mundo" and "Ma Vie" without success. He returned to serenades and playing with his band in night clubs.


José left the band, took the artistic name "José José" honoring his father who had died of alcoholism and with the support of his mother recorded his first album. Because of the quality, the album was praised by the critics but did not achieved much popularity. He struggled, but then during the late 1960s, his fame began to rise, and he was featured on various television shows. With songs like "Una Mañana" and "Cuidado", he started to get producers' and businessmen's attention. He released the song "La Nave del Olvido" that became his first big hit all around Mexico, and recorded a second album.

José José's big break came on March 14 1970, when he represented Mexico in an international song festival "II Festival de la Canción Latina" (predecessor of the Festival OTI de la Canción) with an amazing performance of the song "El Triste". The performance of the song was so touching that caused tears, standing ovations, expressions of amazement and cheers from Angélica María, Alberto Vázquez, Marco Antonio Muñiz, the judges and the spectators in the Teatro Ferrocarrilero in Mexico City. The fact that José José got the third place shocked the audience. After that hit, his popular romantic ballad style mixed with a unique voice made him the star of stars in Mexico. He was constantly featured on popular television shows and played the lead role in movies like "Sueño De Amor", "Buscando Una Sonrisa" and "La Carrera del Millón", starts a relationship with his first couple Anel Noreña, but they split. With the quick success, the fame and money, like his father, he fell into alcoholism, but with help of his friends and family he got back on track. He was married to his first wife Natalia Herrera Calles, but they quickly divorced because of the age difference; she was twenty years older than him.

During the early 1970s, José José became one of the most known balladists in Latin America, despite competing with such other Hispanic singing legends as Nino Bravo, Julio Iglesias, Jose Luis Perales, Danny Rivera, José Luis Rodríguez and Camilo Sesto, but still, none of those singers had his gifted vocal range, registration and technique. He made various international number one hits, and he toured Latin America various times. His songs included "Del Altar A La Tumba", "Buscando Una Sonrisa", "De Pueblo En Pueblo", "Cuando Tu Me Quieras", "Hasta Que Vuelvas", "Vive", "Dejame Conocerte" (a Spanish version of the Paul Anka hit "Let Me Get To Know You"), "Divina Ilusión", "El Príncipe" song that gave him the nickname "El Príncipe De La Canción" ("The Prince Of The Song").

In 1974, he married his first couple and second wife, Anel. In 1977, recorded " El Amar y El Querer" and "Gavilán o Paloma"; both songs are nowadays classics of Mexican music. During 1978 and 1979 he achieved enormous success with the songs "Lo que un dia fué no será", "Lo Pasado, Pasado" by Juan Gabriel, "Volcán", "Si Me Dejas Ahora" by Camilo Sesto and the striking ballad "Almohada". Between the 1970s and 1980s, he had two children's with Anel, his first-born José Francisco (known in Mexico as José Joél) and his daughter Marysol Estrella. By that time, José José became a "sure hit" singer; every song he released immediately became a hit and in every place he performed was a complete sold out.

During the early 1980s, he released the album "Amor Amor", which contained the songs "Insaciable Amante" by Camilo Sesto, "No Me Digas Que Te Vas", "Amor Amor" and the classic bolero "No Me Platiques Mas". After that, he released the album "Romantico"; this one not only created a new way to sing boleros but made this form of old Latin ballads very popular. Songs like: "El Reloj", "La Gloria Eres Tú", "Un Poco Más", "Cancionero" and "Regálame Esta Noche", were crafted in such exquisite form that they nowadays are classics in Mexico and Latin America. Next was the album "Gracias" that released the songs "Me basta" and "Preso", and "Mi Vida", with the songs "Desesperado" and an autobiographic called "Mi Vida", written by Rafael Pérez Botija, the same composer that gave him the song "Gavilán o Paloma" and so many other hits of his career. By that time Jose produced some of his albums and wrote songs like "Si Alguna Vez" and "Amor Para Los Dos". He sold out for seven days in a row at the National Auditorium and a month in the night club "El Patio".

In 1983, José José got to the top of his career with his best selling album "Secretos" recorded in Spain by the Spanish master composer Manuel Alejandro, it is a combination of splendid musical arrangement, romantic lyrics and José's high quality vocals. It has major hits like "Lo Dudo", "El Amor Acaba", "Lagrimas", "He Renunciado A Ti", and "A Esa". After that, he kept on with success; between 1980 and 1989, he sold out in the Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and The Dunes, listed as "Mexico's Top Singer"; he also performed several seasons at the Las Vegas Hilton and the Tropicana Casino and Resort Atlantic City; in 1985 he released his autobiographic film "Gavilán o Paloma", and recorded albums that released hits like "Payaso", "Seré", "¿Y Qué?", "Amantes", "Más", "¿Y Quién Puede Ser?", "Soy Así"; then he joined José Feliciano to produce what became a major hit for both singers: "Por Ella" told the tale of two friends who fell in love with the same girl, being then left heartbroken. In 1987, he traveled to Israel, and performed at the Frederic R. Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv. In 1988, he played the role of the Mexican singer and composer Alvaro Carrillo in the movie "Sabor A Mí"; in the late 1980s he sold out with a massive concert at the Plaza México; traveled to Japan, where he was featured on popular television shows and offered several performances. He had a comeback hit, of sorts, with the 1960s pop-flavored smash, "Piel De Azucar" and "Como Tú". The song "Como Tú" lasted ten weeks at number-one on Billboard Hot Latin Tracks.

In 1990, the late Raul Velasco made a special television show to pay homage to José José's 25th anniversary. The show lasted six hours and had very popular singers as special guests like Vicente Fernández, Roberto Carlos, Julio Iglesias and Marco Antonio Muñiz. In 1991, he released the song "Amnesia" from the album "En Las Buenas y En Las Malas". In 1992, sold out at the UIC Pavilion, and produced another hit: "Cuarenta y Veinte", from the album with the same name, which spoke about men who fall in love with women that are much younger than them and the way society sees these situations. During those days, José started the hardest alcoholic frenzy of his career; he was living in a car and declared that he wanted to die drinking, but again, with the help of his friends, family, the reporter Ricardo Rocha and other artists, he decided to rehabilitate.


He would suffer dire consequences from his problem with alcoholism, as his health faltered dearly during the 1990s. His excessive drinking and incessant activity caused his voice to falter as well and could no longer perform with his voice as he could before. Alcoholism was also one of the major factors for his divorce from his second wife. He went to Hazelden in Minnesota and claims to be cured of his alcoholism, then he married his third wife, the Cuban Sara Salazar. In 1995, José played the lead role in the movie "Perdoname Todo", a drama about an alcoholic has-been and how he tries to survive for himself and the music business. That same year during a Latin American tour, his third daughter "Sara" was born. She has shown interest in becoming a singer in the future. José José has three children. In 1998, Mexican rock and hip hop bands like : Molotov, Jumbo, Julieta Venegas, Beto Cuevas, and Aleks Syntek, recorded a tribute album called "Un Tributo (a José José)", singing José classic songs like "Lo Dudo", "El Triste", "Volcán", and many others, each song with a special personal style of the band. "Lo Dudo" was sampled by rapper DMX on the song "Let Me Fly" from the album It's Dark and Hell Is Hot. In 2001, with a very deteriorated voice, he recorded his last album, "Tenampa", which received poor ratings. After that, he officially retired from singing.

In the mid 2000s, José José appeared briefly as the "Mystery Musician" in the movie "Sueño", in a small action movie called "Double Tap" and played the role of "Erasmo Padilla" (the father of Leticia "Lety" Padilla) in the very successful Mexican version of Ugly Betty, La Fea Más Bella.In 2007, he released "Mis Duetos", an album featuring his past duet songs. However, it featured two new songs, "E-Mail Me" with his daughter, "Sarita", which was written in reggaeton and "Aunque vivas con él" with Reyli. Nowadays José lives in Miami. He is also planning to return to television but his health issues have stopped him.

Health issues

In 1972, he suffered from a severe case of pneumonia; the disease almost destroyed his voice, career and his life. He recovered after going through months of therapy based on cortisol and breathing exercises. He recovered, but one of his lungs was permanently damaged. In the mid 1980s, he got a limp, the result of an operation on a nerve on his right leg. In the late 1980s, he underwent several operations on his vocal cords as a consequence of the excessive use of cortisol, alcohol and the lack of rest after many of his performances. The effect of alcoholism, the abuse of cortisol and his hiatus hernia, have not only affected his ability to sing, but also to talk. In June 2007 he suffered from Bell's palsy. As a result of all these problems he has fought a very serious depression over the recent years. He acknowledged this during an interview on the Univision program Don Francisco Presenta... hosted by popular TV host Don Francisco.

Influence and Awards

His influence is strongly felt in Mexican pop culture and music, considered over Julio Iglesias, Marco Antonio Muñiz, Camilo Sesto, Emmanuel and many others, as the hispanic most gifted romantic ballad singer of the 1970s and 1980s. He is consider a huge influence for singers like: Cristian Castro, Vicente Fernández and his son Alejandro Fernandez, Nelson Ned, Pepe Aguilar, Manuel Mijares, Lupita D'Alessio, and her son Ernesto D'Alessio, among others. In 1996, he was awarded a special concession by the Mexican government. The Mexican government deemed him deserving of this award based on the cultural impact José José has had on the country. In 2002 he achieved "El Premio a la Excelencia" ("Prize to Excellence") in the Premios Lo Nuestro. The Billboard Magazine awarded him for "Mejor Artista Latino" (Best Latin Artist") and "Mejor Disco Latino" ("Best Latin Album"). In 2005 he received the "Personalidad del Año" ("Person of the Year") by the Latin Grammy Award Recording Association; he has been nominated nine times to the Grammy. For his contribution to the recording industry, José José has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7036 Hollywood Blvd. Besides his artistic quality, José is well known between his family, friends and fans for his kindness and modesty; he uses very often the terms "mi amigo" ("my friend") or "mi hermano del alma" ("my dear brother") when he is having a conversation. He is considered an icon in Mexico; his presence is so important that in 2004 with a completly deteriorated voice he sold out at the National Auditorium. Every year, the Mexican television network Televisa invite popular singers to pay homage to José José's career and musical trajectory. In July of 2008, the Latin Grammy Award Recording Association and Univision recorded in Miami at the BankUnited Center a special television show paying homage to Jose Jose's career; stars like: Placido Domingo, Ricky Martin, Enrique Iglesias, Pedro Fernandez and RBD showed their admiration and congratulated him. In the show also performed several stars such as: Marco Antonio Solis, Ana Barbara, Cristian Castro, Alicia Villarreal, Reyli, Olga Tañon, Luis Fonsi, David Bisbal and Aventura. In the show, Univision described Jose Jose as: "One of the most beloved Latin performers of the music industry".


*"Tenampa" (2001)
*"Distancia" (1998)
*"Y Algo Mas" (1998)
*"Tesoros" (1997)
*"Mujeriego" (1995)
*"Grandeza Mexicana" (1994)
*"30 Años De Ser El Principe" (1993)
*"40 Y 20" (1992)
*"En Las Buenas Y En Las Malas" (1990)
*"Que Es El Amor" (1989)
*"Sabor A Mi (B.S.O./Soundtrack)" (1988)
*"Soy Asi" (1987)
*"Siempre Contigo" (1986)
*"Promesas" (1985)
*"Gavilan O Paloma (B.S.O./Soundtrack)" (1985)
*"Reflexiones" (1984)
*"Secretos" (1983)
*"Mi Vida" (1982)
*"Gracias" (1981)
*"Romantico" (1981)
*"Amor Amor" (1980)
*"Si Me Dejas Ahora" (1979)
*"Lo Pasado Pasado" (1979)
*"Volcan" (1978)
*"Reencuentro" (1977)
*"El Principe" (1976)
*"Tan Cerca...Tan Lejos" (1975)
*"Vive" (1974)
*"Hasta Que Vuelvas" (1973)
*"Cuando Tu Me Quieras" (1972)
*"De Pueblo En Pueblo" (1972)
*"Buscando Una Sonrisa" (1971)
*"El Triste" (1970)
*"La Nave Del Olvido" (1970)
*"Cuidado" (1969)

Gold and Platinum albums

*"La Nave Del Olvido" -Gold and Platinum
*"El Triste" -Gold and Platinum
*"Reencuentro" -Double Gold and Platinum
*"Volcan" -Double Gold and Platinum
*"Lo Pasado Pasado" -Double Gold and Platinum
*"Si Me Dejas Ahora" -Double Gold and Platinum
*"Super Exitos" Vol. 1" -Gold
*"Amor Amor" -5 Gold and double Platinum
*"Romantico" -6 Gold and Double Platinum
*"Mi Vida" -6 Gold and Double Platinum
*"Secretos" -Double Platinum
*"Secretos" -Platinum (Central America)
*"Secretos" -Gold (Peru)
*"Secretos" -Gold (Argentina)
*"Secretos" -Gold (Dominican Republic)
*"Secretos" -Gold (Colombia)
*"Secretos" -Platinum (Colombia)


*"Promesas" -Platinum
*"Reflexiones" -Platinum
*"Siempre Contigo" -Platinum
*"Soy Así" -Gold
*"Qué es el Amor?" -Triple Gold
*"En Las Buenas Y En Las Malas" -Gold
*"Qué Es El Amor?" -Platinum (5 in Venezuela)
*"40 Y 20" -Platinum and Gold
*"Grandeza Mexicana" -Gold
*"Mujeriego" -Double Gold and Platinum
*"Tesoros" -Gold
*"Distancia" -Gold

Compilations & boxed sets

*"2008 Tres Voces y una Inspiracion
*"2008 El Principe y El Bolero
*"2007 Mis Duetos [5 Track DVD]
*"2007 Mis Duetos [Norte CD/DVD]
*"2007 Mis Duetos [Televisa CD/DVD]
*"2007 Mis Duetos [DVD]
*"2005 Lo Mejor en Trios
*"2005 20 Éxitos Originales
*"2005 Jose Jose y 8 Grandes Idolos de la Balada Romántica: 100 Años de Musica
*"2005 Lo Esencial José José
*"2005 20 Inolvidables
*"2004 The Best of José José
*"2003 El Principe Con Trio, Vol. 2
*"2003 El Principe Con Trio, Vol. 1
*"2002 Coleccion RCA: 100 Anos de Musica
*"2002 Todo Exitos de Jose Jose
*"2000 Lo Mejor de los Grandes, Vol. 2
*"2000 Serie 2000
*"1999 Coleccion Original
*"1999 Lo Mejor de Lo Mejor
*"1998 Serie Retratos
*"1998 35 Aniversario, Vol. 7
*"1998 35 Aniversario, Vol. 6
*"1998 35 Aniversario, Vol. 5
*"1998 35 Aniversario, Vol. 4 (1981–85)
*"1998 35 Aniversario, Vol. 3 (1977–80)
*"1998 35 Aniversario, Vol. 2 (1972–1976)
*"1998 35 Aniversario, Vol. 1 (1969–1972)
*"1997 Romanticos del Siglo
*"1997 Serie Platino, Vol. 2: 20 Exitos
*"1996 Lo Mejor de Los 3 Grandes
*"1996 Serie Platino
*"1995 Serie Retrato
*"1994 30 Años de Ser El Principe
*"1992 Serie 20 Exitos
*"1992 15 Exitos de Oro
*"1990 25 Aniversario, Vol. 2
*"1990 Exitos
*"1986 25 Aniversario, Vol. 1
*"1977 Grandes Exitos de Jose Jose
*" 10 Super Exitos de Jose Jose
*" Lo Mejor de Jose Jose
*" Los Grandes Exitos, Vol. 2


*"Buscando Una Sonrisa" (1971)
*"Sueño De Amor" (1972)
*"La Carrera Del Millon" (1973)
*"Gavilan O Paloma" (1985)
*"Sabor A Mi" (1988)
*"Perdóname Todo" (1995)
*"Sueño" (2005)
*"Double Tap" (2006)

Soap operas

*"La fea más bella" (2006)


*Por Ella ("For Her") – José Feliciano
*Tiempo ("Time") – Marco Antonio Muniz
*Entre La Espada Y La Pared ("Between the Sword and the Wall") – Pimpinela
*Cruz de olvido("The Cross of Oblivion") – Marco Antonio Muniz
*El Triste ("The Sad One") (Piano Version) – Raúl di Blasio
*Let Me Get To Know You (and the Spanish version, "Dejame Conocerte") – Paul Anka
*Hay Un Mañana ("There is a Tomorrow") – Valeria Lynch
*Te Quiero Así ("I Love You Like This") – Lani Hall and Alejandra Avalos
*Dos Corazones Amigos ("Two Heart Friends") – José Guadalupe Esparza
*La Fuerza De La Sangre ("The Force of the Blood") – José Joel
*José y Manuel ("José and Manuel") – Manuel Alejandro
*Aunque Vivas Con El ("Although You Live With Him") – Reyli
*E Mail Me – Sarita
*Como Hacer Para Olvidar ("How To Forget") – Juan Gabriel


External links

* [ José José official website]

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