Mexico and it’s Luismi.
by David del Toro
It does not matter where you were born, as Chabela Vargas once said: "We Mexicans are born wherever the F we want." This is the case of the best Bolero, Ranchera and Pop interpreter of the last thirty years, who was born in Puerto Rico, and yet got appropriated for the Mexican representation on the American continent.
Who is this singer who represents Latin American music? Frank Sinatra asked at that time, that was how Luis Miguel was invited to sing a duet before he decided to retire from his musical career. Luis Miguel, without a doubt, is Mexico-represented in the opportunities that this blessed land gives to locals and strangers who possess talent.
“Micky” as all his fans refer to him, did not go unnoticed at the beginning of his career, from an influence of power that a single political party exercised in the Nation back in the 80’s. He achieved fame thanks to the omnipotent influence of the only television station in Mexico that could reach the masses. But do not get me wrong, it is not a molded product; his charisma and talent helped him to overshadow this initial push, and he became the greatest representative of Latin music in the world; but most importantly, he proclaimed himself as a Mexican by choice to gain the throne of the King, which in his time during the 50’s, was Pedro Infante.
The bolero, although born in Cuba, reached its maturity as a musical genre in Mexico not until the mid-20th century. Based on the romanticism of Benny Moré, the Mexican composers of the time transcended borders with the Mexican bolero, helped by the interpretation of singers such as Javier Solis, Lucho Gatica and thePanchos.
Like all musical genres, the Bolero had its moment of glory and debacle with the arrival of Rock and Roll and Pop. The newest generations were not used to enjoying classic romanticism but instead were left with the catchy rhythms that offered them the freedom it marketed these days. It was not until 1991, that Luis Miguel decided to make a risky move and make a comeback of romance, showing the young generations that the Bolero lyrics were still alive and current in the feelings of the Latin people.
By composer Armando Manzanero’s hand, and rekindling old hits, he impacted the new generations who were impressed with his lyrics of love, disdain, and longing poetry.
Mexico and Luis Miguel have always had a close relationship of gratitude; not only did Mexico give Micky the opportunity to develop and grow as an artist, but it also gave him the endorsement, which is the case of very few, of being a standard-bearer of Mexican folk music, las canciones rancheras.
In the same way, Luis Miguel put Mexico at the top of the marquees of the whole world. Tired of being questioned about his origin, he proclaimed his love and belonging to our country shouting to the world that he had "México en la Piel", an album that in addition to including the best hits of Mexican vernacular music, allowed Micky to sing to the country he feels is his own.