by Oscar Castillo
An absolute legend in the Latin music world, Chayanne has over 30 years of experience in the industry. Starting from a young age, Chayanne was always musically inclined. His real name is Elmer Figueroa Arce, and he was born in Puerto Rico to Quintuino Figueroa, a salesman, and Irma Luz Arce, a teacher. He is the middle child of five, and his nickname, now his profesional name, was acquired due to his mother’s love for the 1950’s American television western series, “Cheyenne.”
Chayanne debuted as a singer at ten years of age. In the late 1970s, he auditioned for Menudo, a Latin Boy Band, but the producers told him that he was too young to be in the group. He joined another group, Los Chicos, and they produced several hit recordings, including “Puerto Rico Son Los Chicos” and “Ave Maria”. After Los Chicos separated in 1984, Chayanne began his career as a solo artist and released his album debut, “Chayanne es mi Nombre,” that same year. He would go on to release his self-titled album in 1987 which would truly cause him to break out in popularity. His recording career includes 21 albums to date, 5 of these with Los Chicos and the others as a solo performer; all in Spanish.
However, it wouldn’t be until his 1990 release of his album “Tiempo de Vals” which would cement him as a musical legend in Latin America. Afterwards, he would go on to release album after album off hits which would land him at the top of the charts in one way or another. However, Chayanne also showed a passion for acting, and in the late 80’s, early 90’s, he also began a career in acting. He has appeared in dozens of films both on the big screen and for television, and has also been featured in several soap operas as well as composed themes for telenovelas.
Chayanne is recognized throughout Latin America as a Pop music icon whose success is solidified through more than 20 million albums sold. Chayanne’s song “Salomé” from the album “Atado A Tu Amor” peaked at number one in the radio charts nationally and in Spain. The album broke record sales records with over 1 million albums sold, positioning him as the most important artist in the Spanish Peninsula. His rhythm and boundless energy were more than enough to propel his success to Italy, Turkey, Portugal, Sweden, and France, where he obtained a Gold record without any radio airplay.
Aside from constant touring and recording sessions, Chayanne takes time to join charitable causes that give back to the community. He has served as spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the American Red Cross and most recently joined the Celebrity Cabinet of the American Red Cross and the Puerto Rico chapter of the American Cancer Society. Though he likes to keep his personal life exactly that, he has been happily married to Marilisa Maronesse since 1992. She is an attorney and former Venezuelan beauty queen. They have two children and live in Miami, Florida.
Currently on tour with his latest album, Chayanne comes next month on the 26th to the Laredo Energy Arena. The tickets are going fast! Be sure and get your tickets now for this blazing hot event.