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Ana Barbara Biography

Home > Music > B > Barbara, Ana > Biography

Birth Name: Altagracia Ugalde Mota
Born: 1971/01/10
Birth Place: Rio Verde, San Luis Potosí, Mexico
Years Active: 1993–present
Genres: Grupera, Ranchera, Latin Pop, Cumbia, Banda

Ana Bárbara (born January 10, 1971 in Rio Verde, San Luis Potosí) is a Mexican Latin Grammy Award winner, songwriter, producer, and Grammy-nominated recording artist.

Ana Bárbara took interest in music at a young age. She was particularly influenced by her older sister, Viviana Ugalde, who was a popular singer locally. Ana Bárbara was inspired by her sister's performances and decided she wanted to be a singer herself. Today, Ugalde represents Ana Bárbara as her artistic manager.

In 1988 Ana Bárbara entered the local Miss Universe-sponsored Miss México pageant representing her native state of San Luis Potosí; she lost at the national level.. Ana Bárbara moved forward as she began to sing professionally at a variety of events and festivals. For instance, in 1990 she seized an opportunity to tour Colombia as a singer representing her country.

In 1993, Ana Bárbara was proclaimed the ''Ambassador of Ranchera Music;'' she also earned the ''Rostro Bonito de El Heraldo'' ("El Heraldo's Beautiful Face") award. As a result, she was invited to perform during Mass at The Vatican for Pope John Paul II, but when Mass neared its close and she still hadn't been given her chance to sing, she decided to interrupt the proceedings so that she could command the attention of the Pope, for whom she began to sing. The Pope blessed her and wished her luck with her career.

In 1994, she signed with Televisa's musical company, Fonovisa. Under the Fonovisa label, she launched her first CD, the self-titled "Ana Bárbara" produced and largely written by Aníbal Pastor. Her songs, ''Sacúdeme'' and ''Nada'' helped make Ana Bárbara a Mexican Grupero star on the rise.

Ana Bárbara released her second album, titled ''La Trampa'', in July 1995, which was also produced by Anibal Pastor. This album helped Ana Barbara receive accolades from industry award shows as well as great reviews from the press. It spawned three consecutive hits, such as ''Me Asusta Pero Me Gusta'' and ''La Trampa'', that topped "Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks" and established her as "La Reina Grupera" ("Queen of Grupero Music").

By the summer of 1996, she had become international. The release of her third album ''Ay, Amor'' solidified her title as one of Mexico's most successful recording artists. Her appearance and dancing style captivated the public during promotional tours around the world with hit songs like ''No Lloraré'' and ''Ya No Te Creo Nada''.

In 1998, Ana Bárbara released her fourth album produced in its entirely by singer, songwriter, and producer Marco Antonio Solís. The album, titled ''Los Besos No Se Dan En La Camisa'', was largely a ballads album with only one Grupero-style song. This album included a duet and background vocals by Solis, as well as a cover of ''Como Me Haces Falta'', originally sung by Los Bukis in 1982. The album was a minor setback as the lead single became the only commercially successful track to chart in Latin America, México, and the United States; however, it still garnered her various industry award trophies.

In 1999, Ana Bárbara released her fifth studio album titled ''Tu Decisión'', produced by Anibal Pastor. One of his two songwriting credits, "Engañada", became the album's most notable hit. ''Tu Decisión'' was also notable in songwriting terms because it marked Ana Bárbara's debut as a songwriter. In the same year she also debuted as an actress, starring in the made-for-TV film ''Todo Contigo''; the film was intended for stateside consumption, via Hispanic network Univision. The theme song for the movie ''Todo Contigo'' was included in the album ''Tu Decisión.''

In 2000, she took a short break in order to dedicate time to birth of her first child, Emiliano. She was briefly out of the limelight as she quickly returned to the music scene in 2001 with the release of her sixth album titled ''Te Regalo La Lluvia.'' This album was a challenge to her custom Grupero sound because it was recorded entirely in Mariachi style music and produced by songwriter Fato. Critics who had written off Ana Bárbara as simply a grupero novelty built chiefly upon sex appeal consequently took her and her music a bit more seriously afterward. As Ana Bárbara continued to tour for ''Te Regalo La Lluvia'', she also made preparations for a comeback Grupero-style album.

After several years as a recording artist, Ana Bárbara became more involved in her music creation and arrangement process. In the fall of 2003 she released ''Te Atraparé...Bandido'', and ''Loca de Amar'' quickly followed in early 2005. Each album helped Ana Bárbara remain one of the strongest figures in the Regional Mexican genre. Ana Bárbara co-produced the albums alongside producer Carlos Cabral, Jr.; together ''Te Atraparé...Bandido'' and ''Loca de Amar'' spawned popular chart-topping singles such as ''Bandido'', ''Deja'', ''Loca'', and ''Lo Busqué'', which dominated "Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks", as well as earning her important accolades from various music industry award shows.

In April 2005, she participated in ''Selena ¡VIVE!'', a tribute concert held in honor of the 10th Anniversary of the death of Latino star Selena, the "Queen of Tejano music", which was held on April 7, 2005 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. The special tribute was produced by Spanish-language network Univision, and was the most watched Spanish-language television special in US history. Ana Bárbara produced and co-wrote a new version of ''Carcacha,'' which sampled Selena's original version along with her own personal style and unique sound.

By the fall of 2005, she produced the debut album for Mexican duo Los Elegidos (Ana Bárbara's brothers). The album was titled ''Tal y Como Somos'' and it sampled Regional Mexican Banda music. Ana Bárbara wrote and composed several tracks on the album, including their debut song titled ''Fruta Prohibida'', which topped "Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks" chart and also helped Los Elegidos reach popularity in México and the United States. In 2006, she produced their second album titled ''Niña Mimada.''

In 2005, began a relationship with Mariana Levy's widower, José María Fernández, an architect commonly known as "Pirru." "Pirru" proposed in October 2005, they wed a few months later.

In May 2006, Ana Bárbara released her final album with record label Fonovisa; it was titled ''No Es Brujería.'' Lead track ''No Es Brujeria'' was promoted as the first single, and although it fared well on "Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks", the promotion was quickly stalled after she announced she was expecting her second child. Later that year Ana Bárbara relocated to the resort city of Cancún, México where she currently resides with her two sons, Emiliano (born in 2000) and José María (born in 2006) and her husband "El Pirru" and his two children Paula (born in 2002) and José Emilio (born in 2004). From 2006 through 2009, Ana Bárbara's musical career was placed on hold in order to dedicate time to her new family and husband.

During her time-off from the music business, she opted on her entrepreneur side by joining the food-industry business. She opened an exclusive restaurant titled ''Chocalate City'', located in Cancún, Quintana Roo, México. There have been talks about opening a second restaurant in Miami Beach, Florida.

During Ana Bárbara's musical career span, she has been awarded four "Premio Lo Nuestro" a la Musica Latina awards in the Regional Mexican ''Best Female Artist'' category, with a total of 10 nominations overall. She won in the following years: 1996, 1997, 1998, and in 2006.

She has received a total of seven "Premio Furia Musical" awards, as well three "Premio El Heraldo" trophies for ''Best New Artist'' in 1994 and ''Best Female Singer'' in 1997 and 2000.

She won a Casandra Award (which is the Dominican version of the Grammys) in 2002 for ''Most Outstanding International Artist.''

In 2005, Ana Bárbara was awarded her first Latin Grammy Award for ''Loca de Amar'', which won ''Best Grupero Album'' at the 6th Annual Latin Grammy Award Ceremony held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. That night marked Ana Bárbara's Grammy performance debut with a special acoustic rendition of ''Lo Busqué'' and ''Loca.''

Since 1999's album, ''Tu Decisión'', all of Ana Bárbara's albums have been recognized by either the Latin Grammy Awards or the traditional Grammy Awards. She has received a total of four Latin Grammy Award nominations for her work in, ''Tu Decisión'', ''Te Regalo La Lluvia'', ''Te Atraparé... Bandido'', and ''Loca de Amar'' (won) as well as a nomination in the traditional Grammy Awards for 2006's ''No Es Brujería''. Her former record label Fonovisa said "these recognitions are a milestone accomplishment in Ana Barbara's career that spans more than a decade of uninterrupted success in the United States, México and Latin America."

In early 2008, Ana Bárbara expanded her entrepreneur side once again by co-sponsoring and partnering with Los Elegidos to open a nightclub titled ''Bandido,'' one of her biggest hits. ''Bandido'' night-club is located in Cancún, Quintana, Roo México.

In July 2008, she participated in a tribute concert for legendary Mexican icon José José, where she performed a classic José José hit titled ''Lo Pasado, Pasado;'' she was quickly acclaimed for one of the night's highlight performances and for being on the "best dressed" list.

In April 2009, she topped ''People en Español'' ''Los 50 Más Bellos'' list. She was featured on the cover of this prestigious Hispanic magazine alongside Maite Perroni, Eva Longoria, and Ana de la Reguera, among others.

After four years of musical absence, Ana Bárbara remained a popular favorite in the music entertainment industry. said: "Ana Bárbara has not only dominated the Grupero movement, but she is one of the driving forces behind the Grupero-style realization." In July 2009, Ana Bárbara was featured on the cover of ''People en Español'' where she talked about the release of her 10th studio album; this appearance marked the third time that Ana Bárbara has been on the cover of the Hispanic celebrity magazine, once in 2005 and twice in 2009.

By the fall of 2009, Ana Bárbara previewed ''Rompiendo Cadenas'', a bouncy Urban-inspired Pop single produced by Dominican duo Luny Tunes featuring new Reggaeton artists Dyland and Lenny. ''Rompiendo Cadenas'' premiered on live television show Nuestra Belleza Mexico on September 20, 2009. During press interviews, Ana Bárbara revealed that her new album, ''Rompiendo Cadenas'', would be released under newly launched independent music label ''AB Productions.'' The music video for ''Rompiendo Cadenas'' was filmed in La Habana, Cuba and premiered on her official website in October 2009; ''Rompiendo Cadenas'' debuted at number 39 on ''Billboards "Latin Pop Songs" on November 12, 2009. Two alternate versions of song ''Rompiendo Cadenas'' premiered on iTunes on November 23, 2009; one in Banda and another in Acustic version.

When Ana Bárbara introduced ''Rompiendo Cadenas'' to the Associated Press in January 2010 she described why the early departure from Fonovisa Records since she was still under contract for one more album. Ana Bárbara stated that Fonovisa perceived her new material as "too risky" since she was "author and producer of all tracks", and instead they asked her to reconsider and change the music style, or terminate the contract. Ana Bárbara, on the other hand, was grateful for their honesty and immediately decided to launch ''Rompiendo Cadenas'' via independent record label ''AB Productions.'' The new album revealed more of a mainstream Pop genre, rather than her custom solid Grupero sound, and included eleven new recordings, such as ''Que Ironía'', ''No Volvio'', and ''No Me Imagino'', among others. ''Rompiendo Cadenas'' included the collaboration of producers such as Guillermo Gil, Luny Tunes, Javier Calderon, and Ana Bárbara herself as executive producer.

In February 2010 Ana Bárbara hosted a series of events for Hispanic networks Univision and TeleFutura. She and Puerto Rican singer Víctor Manuelle hosted the 2010 ''Premio Lo Nuestro Awards'' live from Miami, Florida. Ana Bárbara was voted amongst the top finalists for the most elegant dressed celebrity. The following day she paticipated in a star-studded remake of "We Are the World", titled Somos El Mundo along with the filming of the music video. In the same month, Ana Bárbara also hosted a televised music special dedicated in honor of the late Selena. She also participated as a judge for another Selena tribute titled ''Buscando la doble de Selena.''

In April 2010, Ana Bárbara introduced second single from ''Rompiendo Cadenas'', titled ''Que Ironia'' which included rock and Pop versions. The song was originally written for pop diva Gloria Trevi, but after Ana Bárbara's own son Emiliano reassured her confidence, she decided to record the song and make it her own. A music video premiered the following month.

In May 2010, Ana Bárbara introduced two new songs via her official Twitter page. The first track was a featured duet with Mexican singer songwriter Reyli titled ''Ahora Tengo;'' the track's music video was filmed in New York, NY and premiered in June 2010. The next song was a preview of the official theme song for Univision's mini-series Mujeres Asesinas 3 titled ''Alma Perdida,'' which is scheduled to premiere in the fall of 2010.

By late June 2010, several entertainment magazines, websites, and television shows confirmed that Ana Bárbara and her husband José María Fernández "Pirru" are ending their nearly five year marriage due to his infidelity.

An extensive promotional tour in Mexico, Latin America, and the United States is tentatively scheduled for most of 2010.