For the French singer Raphael see Raphaël Haroche
Raphaël Haroche is a French singer who performs under the name Raphael.-Biography:...
Miguel Rafael Martos Sánchez
(born May 5, 1943 Linares
-Persons:*Arsenio Linares y Pombo , Spanish military officer and government official*Emilio Herrera Linares , Spanish military engineer; president of the Spanish government-in-exile, 1960–1962...
), often simply referred to as Raphael
, is a worldwide acclaimed Spanish
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...
singer and television, film and theatre actor. A pioneer of modern Spanish music, he is considered a major influence in having opened the door and paving the way to the flood of Spanish singers that follow. His wide-range voice, added to his quality as showman, has entertained and engaged people worldwide for more than five decades.
Raphael was born Miguel Rafael Martos Sánchez in Linares, province of Jaén (Spain), on May 5, 1943. As a consequence, he is nicknamed both "El Ruiseñor de Linares"
The Nightingale , also known as Rufous and Common Nightingale, is a small passerine bird that was formerly classed as a member of the thrush family Turdidae, but is now more generally considered to be an Old World flycatcher, Muscicapidae...
of Linares") and "El Divo de Linares"
("The Divo from Linares"). His family moved to Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...
when he was nine months old, and he started singing when he was just three years-old. He joined a children's choir at age four. When he was 9, he was recognized as the best child voice in Europe at a contest in Salzburg, Austria.
Raphael began his professional career by signing with the Dutch
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...
record label Philips. To distinguish himself, he adopted the "ph" of the company's name and christened himself 'Raphael'. His first singles were "Te voy a contar mi vida" and "A pesar de todo", among others. Raphael adopted his own peculiar singing style from the beginning; he is known for acting each one of his songs while on stage, emphasizing his gestures with high dramatic effect. It is not unusual for Raphael to ad lib lyrics as to localize a song depending on the venue he's singing at, wear Latin American peasant costumes and dance folk dances within a song, kicking and demolishing a mirror, or doing the moves of a flamenco dancer
Flamenco is a genre of music and dance which has its foundation in Andalusian music and dance and in whose evolution Andalusian Gypsies played an important part....
or a bullfighter
Bullfighting is a traditional spectacle of Spain, Portugal, southern France and some Latin American countries , in which one or more bulls are baited in a bullring for sport and entertainment...
onstage. He also possesses a wide vocal range, which he often used in the beginning of his career as to evoke a choir
A choir, chorale or chorus is a musical ensemble of singers. Choral music, in turn, is the music written specifically for such an ensemble to perform.A body of singers who perform together as a group is called a choir or chorus...
boy approach to some songs.
When he was nineteen, he won first, second and third awards at the famous Benidorm International Song Festival
The Benidorm International Song Festival or Festival Internacional de la Canción de Benidorm is an annual song contest which takes place each summer, since 1959, in the city of Benidorm, Spain. The contest, based on the Italian Sanremo Music Festival, was born to promote Benidorm and the Spanish...
, Spain, 1962, with the songs: "Llevan", "Inmensidad" and "Tu Conciencia". After a brief relation with Barclay record label, who produced just an EP, he signed contract with Hispavox recording company, and began a long artistic relationship with the musical director of this label, the late, talented argentinian orchestrator Waldo de los Ríos
Waldo de los Ríos was an Argentine composer, conductor and arranger.De los Rios was born as Osvaldo Nicholas Ferrara in Buenos Aires into a musical family; his father was a musician and his mother a well known folk singer; he studied composition and arranging at the National Conservatory of Music...
and intensify the partnership with outstanding Spanish songwriter Manuel Alejandro
Manuel Alejandro is one of the most popular and sought after composers of Latin love songs, which are better known as ballads. He has written, composed, and arranged songs for the likes of Luis Miguel, Plácido Domingo, Julio Iglesias...
In 1966 and 1967 he represented Spain at the XII and XIII Eurovision Song Contest
The Eurovision Song Contest is an annual competition held among active member countries of the European Broadcasting Union .Each member country submits a song to be performed on live television and then casts votes for the other countries' songs to determine the most popular song in the competition...
Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...
, singing "Yo soy aquél" and Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...
, "Hablemos del amor" and placing both 7º and 6º position, although he did not win. It was the first time that Spain obtained a high place in the competition,leaving the door ready for the next year victory which Spain got with "La, la, la", another song of modern style too,which for political reasons still in Spain then was sung instead by Massiel
María de los Ángeles Felisa Santamaría Espinoza , professionally known as Massiel, is a Spanish pop singer...
. This served as a turning point in Raphael's career, making him an international star. He traveled and performed worldwide in Europe, Latin America, the United States, Russia and Japan. Songs such as "Yo soy aquel" (his signature song
A signature song is the one song that a popular and well-established singer or band is most closely identified with or best known for, even if they have had success with a variety of songs...
), "Cuando tú no estás", "Mi gran noche", "Digan lo que digan", "Tema de amor", "Estuve enamorado" and "Desde aquel día" cemented his status as a major international singing star.
Raphael also began a lucrative film career, appearing in, Cuando tú no estás
, 1966), which was followed by Al ponerse el Sol
(Mario Camus, 1967) Digan lo que digan
(Mario Camus, 1968, filmed in Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...
), El golfo
(1969, filmed in México
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...
), El ángel
(1969), Sin Un Adiós
(1970, partially filmed in England) and Volveré a nacer
Latin American popularity
As Raphael became a success in Latin America, he made a habit of recording Latin American folk standards including "Huapango torero", "Sandunga" and "Llorona"; they were hits in Mexico.
He appeared live on The Ed Sullivan Show
The Ed Sullivan Show is an American TV variety show that originally ran on CBS from Sunday June 20, 1948 to Sunday June 6, 1971, and was hosted by New York entertainment columnist Ed Sullivan....
with great success on October 25, 1970, singing (in Spanish, English and Italian) "Hallelujah" and "Hava Nagila." He appeared again on December 27, 1970, with the songs "Maybe"(Somos), "When my love is around" (Cuando llega mi amor) and "The sound of the trumpet" (Balada de la trompeta).
In 1975, Raphael began his own successful program on Spanish Television called "El Mundo de Raphael", where he sang with international stars. He also had a radio program, where he and his wife spoke with and interviewed outstanding personalities, and he starred in soap operas, starting with the Mexican production "Donde termina el camino", shown in the spring of 1978 and later in other countries like Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...
Raphael succeeded in the early 1980s with songs such as "¿Qué tal te va sin mí?", "Como yo te amo", "En carne viva" and "Estar enamorado." In 1981, he was awarded with the Uranium Disk for exceeded sales over 50 million albums around the world on Hispavox record label. During 1984 and 1985 he recorded two albums with songs written by José Luis Perales
José Luis Perales is a Spanish singer-songwriter and composer who is very popular in Spain and Latin America. He has performed some of his extensive work at Carnegie Hall, New York.-Biography:...
like "Ámame", "Yo sigo siendo aquel", "Dile que vuelva", "Y... Cómo es él" and "Estoy llorando hoy por ti".
In 1984 a parody of "Yo soy aquél"
was used in a radio spot in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...
's gubernatorial race. Then-governor Carlos Romero Barceló
Carlos Antonio Romero Barceló is a Puerto Rican politician who served as the fifth Governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the second governor to be elected from the New Progressive Party and also Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico from 1993 to 2001, making him one of the more successful...
used the parody (complete with a Raphael sound-alike) namely as a jab against opponent, Raphael's namesake, (and noted Spanophile), former governor Rafael Hernández Colón
Rafael Hernández Colón is a Puerto Rican politician who served as the fourth Governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico for three non-consecutive terms, from 1973 to 1977 and from 1985 to 1993. An experienced politician, Hernández holds the record for being the youngest Governor of Puerto Rico,...
. Raphael was surprised by the unauthorized use of the music, but was highly amused by the reference.
In 1987 he left Hispavox and signed a contract with Columbia (now Sony Music), where he again recorded songs written by Roberto Livi like "Toco madera", "Maravilloso corazón". In 1991 he had a hit with "Escándalo" in Spain, Latin America, and in Japan, where it reached number one. At the end of the 90s, after ending a contract with PolyGram
PolyGram was the name of the major label recording company started by Philips from as a holding company for its music interests in 1945. In 1999 it was sold to Seagram and merged into Universal Music Group.-Hollandsche Decca Distributie , 1929-1950:...
, he went back to EMI
The EMI Group, also known as EMI Music or simply EMI, is a multinational music company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the fourth-largest business group and family of record labels in the recording industry and one of the "big four" record companies. EMI Group also has a major...
. In 1998 the artist published the first part of his memories: "¿Y mañana qué?", from his childhood until his marriage in 1972.
Raphael took part in the 2000 Spanish version of the stage musical Jekyll & Hyde
Jekyll & Hyde is a musical based on the novella Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. The original stage conception was by Steve Cuden and Frank Wildhorn. The music is by Wildhorn and the lyrics and book are by Leslie Bricusse.The musical ran on Broadway for 1,543...
for seven months, with great success.
He married journalist and writer Natalia Figueroa, in Venice (Italy) on 14 July 1972. They have three children: Jacobo, Alejandra and Manuel.
Raphael's health faced a major setback in 2003, when his liver
The liver is a vital organ present in vertebrates and some other animals. It has a wide range of functions, including detoxification, protein synthesis, and production of biochemicals necessary for digestion...
started failing due to a latent bout with Hepatitis B; he recovered successfully after a transplant
Organ transplantation is the moving of an organ from one body to another or from a donor site on the patient's own body, for the purpose of replacing the recipient's damaged or absent organ. The emerging field of regenerative medicine is allowing scientists and engineers to create organs to be...
. Since then he is an active organ donation promoter.
Awards and accomplishments
Raphael can be singled out as one of the most important singers in the Spanish language for the second half of the twentieth century, along with Joan Manuel Serrat
Joan Manuel Serrat i Teresa is a Catalan Spanish singer-songwriter.Serrat is considered one of the most important figures of modern, popular music in both the Spanish and Catalan languages...
, Camilo Sesto
Camilo Blanes Cortés , better known as Camilo Sesto, is a Spanish singer , composer and producer who enjoyed fame during the 1970s and the 1980s...
, Juan Gabriel
Alberto Aguilera Valadez , better known by his stage name Juan Gabriel , is a Mexican singer and songwriter who is one of the most famous living representatives of the Mexican ranchera, ballad, mariachi, and pop music....
, Julio Iglesias
Julio José Iglesias de la Cueva , better known simply as Julio Iglesias, is a Spanish singer who has sold over 300 million records worldwide in 14 languages and released 77 albums. According to Sony Music Entertainment, he is one of the top 15 best selling music artists in history,...
, Luis Miguel
Luis Miguel Gallego Basteri is a Mexican singer. He is widely known only by the name Luis Miguel and is often referred to as "El Sol de México"...
, Rocío Dúrcal
Rocío Dúrcal , born as María de los Ángeles de Las Heras Ortíz, was a Spanish singer and actress, known artistically as Rocío Durcal. Spanish is the best selling solo albums with more than 80 million to date...
, Rocío Jurado
María del Rocío Trinidad Mohedano Jurado , was a Spanish singer and actress. She was born in Chipiona, Cádiz, Spain and was nicknamed "La más grande" . Jurado was once married to boxer Pedro Carrasco, with whom she had a daughter, Rocío Carrasco...
and José José
José Rómulo Sosa Ortiz , known by his artistic name José José, is a Mexican singer.Referred in the entertainment world as "El Príncipe de la Canción" , José José is best known for his romantic ballads and renowned for his vocals...
- Raphael (1965)
- Raphael Canta (1966)
- Al Ponerse El Sol (1967)
- Digan Lo Que Digan (1967)
- El Golfo (1968)
- El Angel (1969) - Ecuador Only)
- Raphael (1969)
- Aqui! (1969)
- Live At The Talk Of Town (1970)
- Aleluya (1970)
- Algo Mas (1971)
- Hablame De Amor (1971)
- Volvere A Nacer (1972)
- Le Llaman Jesus (1973)
- From Here On (1973) - English Album
- Ven Conmigo! (1974)
- Dama Dama (1974)
- Que Diran De Mi (1974) - United States Only
- Sombras (1974) (Ecuador)
- No Eches La Culpa Al Gitano (1974)
- Recital Hispanoamericano (1975) - With Los Gemelos
- Con El Sol De La Manana (1976)
- Raphael Canta Boleros (1976)
- Una Forma Muy Mia De Amar (1978)
- Y Sigo Mi Camino (1980)
- Vivo Live Direct (1980) - 20th Anniversary & Live Double Album
- En Carne Viva (1981)
- Raphael: Ayer, Hoy y Siempre (1982) - Greatest Hits
- Enamorado De La Vida (1983)
- Eternamente Tuyo (1984)
- Yo Sigo Siendo Aquel (1985) - 25th Anniversary
- Todo Una Vida (1986)
- Las Apariencias Enganan (1988)
- Maravilloso Corazon, Maravilloso (1989)
- Andaluz (1990)
- Ave Fenix (1992)
- Fantasia (1994)
- Desde el fondo de mi alma (1995)
- Punto y Seguido (1997)
- Vete (1997) - Duet with Nino Bravo
- Jekell & Hyde (2001)
- Maldito Raphael (2001)
- De Vuelta (2003)
- Vuelve Por Navidad (2004)
- A Que No Te Vas (2006) - Duet with Rocio Jurado
- Cerca de ti (2006)
- Maravilloso Raphael (2007)
- Archivo: Raphael 50 Anos Despues (2008)
- Viva Raphael! (2009)
- Raphael En Directo y Al Completo (2009)
- Te Llevo En El Corazon (2010)
- Las Gemelas (1963) - As Cantante
- Cuando Tu No Estas (1966) - As A Si Mismo
- Al Ponerse El Sol (1967) - As David Alonso
- Digan Lo Que Digan (1968) - As Pablo
- El Angel (1969)
- Sin Un Adios (1970) - As Mario
- Volvere A Nacer (1973) - As Alex
- Donde Termina El Camino (1978)