The Prince of Song
Star of Latin music during the 1970s and 1980s, Jose Jose, also known as El príncipe de la Canción or The Prince of Song, has reached international prominence with a number of his No. 1 hit songs that included “Nave del Olvido,” “Gavilán o Paloma” (“Hawk or Dove”),” “Lo Dudo” (“I Doubt It”), “Lagrimas” (“Tears”), “Hasta Que Vuelvas” (“Until You Return”), “Piel De Azucar” (“Skin Like Sugar”), “Como Tú” (“Like You”) and “Cuarenta y Veinte” (“Forty and Twenty”), among others. Releasing his debut album in 1969, the Mexican native singer had had more than 30 albums on his pocket before announcing his retirement in 2001. Among them are “El Triste” (1970), “La Nave Del Olvido” (1970), “Hasta Que Vuelvas” (1973), “Romantico” (1981), “Secretos” (1983), “Promesas” (1985) and “40 Y 20” (1992). Before retiring, he released “Tenampa” (2001), which was a commercially flop. In 2007, Jose revisited the music industry with “Mis Duetos,” a duet album of his past duet songs with a new song called “E-Mail Me” (with Sarita). For his contribution to the world of music, Jose has been inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Apart from singing, Jose Jose is also known as an actor. He has acted in several films such as “Buscando una sonrisa” (1972), “Sueño de amor, Un” (1972), “La carrera del millon” (1974), “Gavilán o paloma” (1985), “Sabor a mí” (1988) and “Perdóname todo” (1995). Post his retirement, he could be seen in “Sueño” (2005) and “Double Tap” (2006). He also had a recurring role in the Mexican version of “Betty la fea, La Fea Más Bella” (2006-2007).
Childhood and Family:
José Romulo Sosa Ortíz, professionally known as Jose Jose, was born on February 17, 1948, in Mexico, Distrito Federal, Mexico, to an opera singer father and a pianist mother. His parents both enjoyed limited success therefore when their young son showed an interest in singing they attempted to discourage him. Despite the disapproval, José went on trying to become a singer.
José married Kikis Herrera Calles in 1971, but they later divorced. Jose has five children.
Born into a family of musicians, Jose Jose was originally prevented from pursuing a singing career due to his parents' unsuccessful career in the past. He, however, retained to try his hand in music, and, by his teens, he had embarked on his own career. Initiating in contests and festivals around Mexico City, Jose had to struggle at first, but his status gradually climbed during the late 1960s with performances on televisions. His first hit, “La Nave Del Olvido” (“The Ship of Oblivion”), was released in 1969. However, Jose did not score major break until the following year when he represented Mexico in an international song festival with the song “El triste” (“The Sad One”). Although he did not win, the contest did earn the singer devoted fans.
Jose's bosa nova style combined with a unique voice soon made him a huge star in Mexico. During the 1970s, he established a reputation as one of the most famous balladists in Latin America, despite contending against such other Hispanic singing icons as Nino Bravo (died in 1973), Julio Iglesias, José Luis Rodríguez, Jose Luis Perales, Alberto Cortés, Danny Rivera and Camilo Sesto. Jose had a series of hits in the most significant Latin charts with 1972's “De Pueblo en Pueblo,” 1973's “Hasta Que Vuelvas” (“Until You Return”), 1974's “Déjame Conocerte,” 1975's “Sentimientos,” 1976's “Paloma,” and “Gavilan o Paloma”(“Hawk or Dove”), a smash in 1977. Other notable songs include “Lo Dudo” (“I Doubt It”), a romantic track about a relationship that had terminated, and the ballad “Lagrimas” (“Tears”). Riding high on his singing success, Jose tried to broaden his popularity as an actor. During the 1970s, he could be seen acting in the movies “Buscando una sonrisa” (“In Search of a Smile”) (1972), “Sueño de Amor” (1972) and “La Carrera del Millón” (1974).
After the 1980 “Amor Amor” album, Jose released the massively popular “Romantico” (1981), an album marked for creating a new way to sing boleros and making this form of old Latin ballads very favorite. He combined the success with the 1983 album “Secretos,” produced by the accomplished composer Manuel Alejandro. The album sold more than four million copies internationally. After “Secretos,” he released several other albums during the 1980s, including “Reflexiones” (1984), “Promesas” (1985), “Soy Asi” (1987) and “Que Es El Amor” (1989). Besides, he collaborated with José Feliciano for the duet song “Por Ella” (“For Her”), which turned out to be a major hit for both artists. The song told the story of two friends who had crashed on the same girl and then were left heartbroken by the girl. This fact made them turn into alcoholics. By the time the video of the song was released, Jose had already started a real-life combat against his alcoholism. During the 1980s, Jose resumed his acting career by appearing in “Secretos de José José, Los” (1983), “Siempre en domingo” (1984), “Gavilán o paloma” (1985) and “Sabor a mí” (1988).
In the 1990s, Jose's outcomes became lessened as a result of his problem with dipsomania. His unreasonable drinking made his voice to falter and he could no longer perform with his voice like he did before. His most remarkable song during this period was 1992's “Cuarenta y Veinte” (“Forty and Twenty”). The same year, he also released the album “40 Y 20,” which was produced by Roberto Livi in Miami and Los Angeles. To promote the album, Jose toured around America, including Madison Square Garden in New York and Pavillion in Chicago. After his marriage ended, Jose tried to clean his life by entering a rehabilitation. A self-claimed sober, he re-built his personal life and remarried, and in 1996, he was honored a special concession by the Mexican government due to the cultural impact the musician has had on the country. Jose followed it up by launching “Tesoros” (1997), “Y Algo Mas” (1998) and “Distancia” (1998).
In 2001, Jose released “Tenampa,” a poorly-received album, before retiring from singing. At the time, he was 53 years old and had been in the showbiz for 37 years. Jose withdrew from public aye for several years, but in 2005 he resurfaced to appear as a mystery musician in the American film “Sueño,” starring John Leguizamo. He then supported Fabian Carrillo, Pepe Serna and Daniel Baldwin in the actioner “Double Tap” (2006). On the small screen, he had two episodic turn as Erasmo Padilla, the father of Leticia “Lety: Padilla in the Mexican version of “Betty la fea, La Fea Más Bella” (2006-2007).
More recently, in 2007, Jose launched “Mis Duetos,” an album comprises of his past duet songs. The album has a new song called “E-Mail Me,” a duet with Sarita.