Grammy-nominated Puerto Rican singer Manny Manuel, born Cruz Manuel Hernández Santiago, rose to prominence as a member of the musical group Los Sabrosos del Merengue, with which he recorded two albums and produced such hit songs as “Fiera Callada,” “Colegiala” and “Frente a Frente,” before establishing a triumphant solo career in 1994. His solo debut album, “Rey de Corazones” (1994), went platinum after a few weeks, and he enjoyed a six-date live performances at the Luis A. Ferré Performing Arts Center. After five more studio albums, including 1998's “Es Mi Tiempo” and 2002's “Manny Manuel,” Manuel relocated to America and released “Serenata” (2003), from which he nabbed his Grammy nomination. His new album, “Tengo Tanto,” was released in 2007.
Son of Orocovis
Childhood and Family:
Manny Manuel was born Cruz Manuel Hernández Santiago on December 1, 1972, in Orocovis, Puerto Rico. In Orocovis, he attended the José Rojas Cortés School for his elementary and high school studies. Showing a great talent in music from an early age, he immigrated to the United States in the 2000s after establishing a successful recording career in Puerto Rico.
Rey de Corazones
Born and raised in Puerto Rico Manny Manuel began his musical career at a very young age. After competing in local talent shows and participating in other musical activities, he performed in a group called Tempo Merenguero and later became a choreographer and singer for the merengue duo of Mayra y Celinés. Manuel, however, did not experience his foray with success until several years later when he joined the group Los Sabrosos del Merengue, which scored a hit with their debut single, “Fiera Callada.” Led by the song's success, the group released their first album, “Sin Fronteras,” in which Manuel mainly contributed in the lyrics, and went on to produce hits like “Frente a Frente” and “Colegiala” from their sophomore effort, “Haciendo Historia.”
After recording these two albums, Manuel departed Los Sabrosos del Merengue in June 1994 and embarked as a solo performer several months later. His first solo album, Rey de Corazones, was released later that same year and received platinum certification after only a few weeks. He followed it up with sold-out concerts at the Luis A. Ferré Performing Arts Center. Auténtico, Manuel's second album, was released in 1996. He supported the album by doing live performances at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum and the Guaynabo Performing Arts Center.
Manuel's rising career was further confirmed in the following year. Besides releasing the 1997 album “El Trío,” he also worked together with many artists in albums and concerts. Some of these work included recording a Spanish version of the Beatles hit song “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” for the album Tropical Tribute to the Beatles and performing with Trío Los Condes, particularly in the song “Querube.” In 1998, Manuel released his next studio album, “Es Mi Tiempo,” and enjoyed hits with the songs “Como duele” and “Margarita.” The album went gold in Spain.
Before his second performance at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum, which was recorded and later released on CD, Manuel launched an album called “Lleno de Vida” (1999). Three years later, he resurfaced with his self-titled album, “Manny Manuel.” After securing a new label and a move to the United States, Manuel released “Serenata” in 2003. The album, which contained covers of traditional romantic songs among other materials, sold more than 100,000 copies and brought the gifted singer a nomination at the Latin Grammy. He followed the album up by performing at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum in 2004 and released “Nostalgia,” that same year.
After three years away from his recording studio, Manuel returned with his new album, “Tengo Tanto,” in 2007.