Think you know everything there is to know about Juan Gabriel? Fans may know that he is one of the most well-loved figures, not just in the Latin music world, but in music in general. Although Gabriel is no longer alive, his musical legacy will continue to live on. To celebrate his contributions to music, here are five things that you didn’t know about Juan Gabriel.
1. His first singing gig was in a bar
Before Juan Gabriel became a monolith in the Latin music world, he had his humble beginnings at a bar in his native Ciudad Juarez. That bar was the Noa-Noa Bar, which he performed in from 1966 until 1968.
2. Bars in Juarez doesn’t pay enough
After Gabriel signed a record deal with RCA Victor (after getting rejected numerous times), he continued to sing in the bars around Ciudad Juarez; but because the bars paid him insufficiently, he vowed to never sing in the bars around Juarez ever again.
3. Gabriel never hitched
Juan Gabriel was a man of many talents and good looks, which is what makes this fact mind-boggling to fans of his work. Though he had many opportunities, Gabriel never married. For some in the music industry, this may seem like a smart move, but then again, it’s pretty sobering to see that nobody was able to steal his heart.
4. Gabriel was very charitable
Gabriel was a very giving and humble man. In fact, almost 12 times per year until his death, he would perform concerts where all of the proceeds went straight to charity. In 1987, he gave back to his hometown by finding Semjase, a house for orphaned children between 6-12.
5. He had a tough road to stardom
Although he is known as one of the most influential Latin artists of all-time, he had a rough road to stardom. He was rejected countless times by record companies in Mexico City. He was once so broke that he slept in bus and train stations and he did a stint in prison after being wrongfully accused of robbery. That goes to show that getting to the top is a long and sometimes treacherous road, but staying consistent and believing, like Juan Gabriel did, can make all the difference.