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Carlos Vives Biography

Home > Music > V > Vives, Carlos > Biography

Born: 1961/08/07
Birth Place: Santa Marta, Magdalena, Colombia
Years Active: 1986-present
Genres: Vallenato, Latin Pop, Rock

Carlos Alberto Vives Restrepo was born August 7, 1961 in Santa Marta, Magdalena, Colombia, and is a Grammy Award-winning singer, composer and actor. At the age of 12, Vives’ family moved to Bogotá where Vives was exposed to rock music and began playing in bars and cafés around the city.

In 1982, Vives branched out from his music and began acting in soap operas, including “Pequeños Gigantes” and “Tuyo es Mi Corazón.” His steady rise to fame peaked in 1986 with the role of Gallito Ramírez. That same year, Vives released his debut album, “Por Fuera y Por Dentro,” which performed poorly. His second offering, “No Podrás Escapar de Mí” arrived in 1987 with the title track peaking at #30 on the Billboard Latin Tracks chart.

In 1991, he was offered a TV role that would change his life forever. He was cast in the leading role of a fantasy series based in the life of vallenato composer Rafael Escalona titled, “Escalona.” He sang the composer's songs in the series, and that's when he retooled his career towards vallenato, gaining national success with the release of the Telenovela's two soundtrack albums, “Escalona: Un Canto a la Vida” and “Escalona: Vol. 2.”

In 1993, Vives was backed by the band La Provincia on his album, “Clásicos de la Provincia,” which showcased a fusion of vallenato music with rock, pop and Caribbean styles. The album was a huge success and won a Billboard Latin Music Award for Album of the Year.

Vives followed-up in 1995 with “La Tierra del Olvido,” which continued in the vein of its predecessor and fused rock music with funk, pop, and traditional Colombian genres. The album spawned the hits, “La Tierra del Olvido” and “Pa' Mayte.”

Over the next decade, Vives released four more albums, “Tengo Fe” in 1997, “El Amor de Mi Tierra” in 1999, “Déjame Entrar” in 2001 (which won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Tropical Latin Album) and “El Rock de Mi Pueblo” in 2004, all of which were commercially successful.

2009 saw “Clásicos de la Provincia II” released, which spurred the hit, “Las Mujeres.” 2013 saw Vives release two albums, “Como Le Gusta a Tu Cuerpo” featuring Michel Telo, and “Corazon Profundo.”