|Country Of origin:||Latin Continuum|
Diego Verdaguer is a multi-platinum Argentine pop singer, songwriter, musician (trumpet and bandoneon), and producer who is well-versed in everything from folk and Mexican regional song to Latin pop. A naturalized Mexican citizen, he has sold over 20 million records, has been nominated for Latin Grammys three times, is married to the singer Amanda Miguel, and has produced nine of her albums.
Verdaguer was born Miguel Atilio Boccadoro Hernández in Buenos Aires in 1951. Attracted to music at an early age, he began trying to emulate the folk music of his region until age 14 when he met the singer Larry Moreno, with whom he formed the duet partnership Reno and Rino; they recorded six singles for CBS in the mid-'60s. The experience proved invaluable, giving Verdaguer, then age 17, the experience he needed to go solo. His 1968 debut single, "Lejos del Amor," for RCA Victor was produced by Moreno and arranged by Jorge López Ruiz.
In 1969, he participated in the III Festival Buenos Aires de la Canción at the Luna Park stadium, performing with the Spanish singer Dyango on the song "Yo, Solamente Yo." Based on the success of this performance, he was hired by the Argentine television channel El Trece as an exclusive artist for the popular youth music program El Sótano Beat. Simultaneously, "Yo, Solamente Yo" was part of the compilation Sótano Beat, which sold more than half-a-million copies.
In March 1970, he represented Argentina in the Latin Song Festival at the Teatro Ferrocarrilero in Mexico City. After ending his relationship with RCA Victor and El Trece, Moreno took Verdaguer to the Festival de Canciones de la Ciudad de la Plata; he won first place in the competition. Immediately following the festival he was signed by the MH label. His first outing for them was the single "Yo Te Amo," which charted at Argentine radio. Along with musical director and producer Roberto Montiel and lyricist Rubén Lotes, he released seven number one singles that sold more than two-million copies in Argentina.
Verdaguer achieved his first international hit with his debut album, 1976's Volveré. It charted in Mexico as well as Argentina and went multi-platinum, selling over five million copies. Other great successes included the single "Yo, Pescador de Amor" and "El Pasadiscos." Verdaguer signed a multi-album deal with the Mexican company Melody, which rewarded his success by giving him complete artistic freedom.
In 1979, he collaborated with the Argentine lyricist Graciela Carballo under the orchestral direction of Jorge Calandrelli on the album El Secreto Callado, recorded in New York. It netted four chart-topping singles.
In 1981, he released Estoy Vivo, which was recorded in Los Angeles and produced by José Quintana (Maná, Juan Gabriel, Marisela). It too netted several chart-topping singles: "Corazón de Papel," "Que Suras Más," and "La Thronroa," which was an international smash and made the top rungs of the charts in Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Colombia, the United States, Spain, and Italy. The following year, Coco Loco offered an innovative fusion of Latin rhythms with other musical genres, from pop and rock to soul and funk. And although the promotion of the album was threatened because Melody was bought by Televisia, it still sold more than half-a-million copies.
In anticipation of their daughter's birth, Verdaguer and Miguel recorded the hit duet "Simplemente Amor." 1986's Estoy Celoso was produced by Bebu Silvetti and included songwriting collaborations with Argentine composers Roberto Livi and Alejandro Vezzani. The track "Pájaro Que Comerió, Voló" hit number one on the Latin charts in the U.S. and Mexico.
In 1987, Verdaguer started his own label, Diam Music. 1989's Sigo Vivo, produced by Horacio Lanzi, Lorenzo Toppano, and Graciela Carballo was the imprint's first release. Since then, the singer's productions have all been released under Diam Music's imprimatur. In 1990, he co-authored the song "La Cara del Amor," dedicated to Pope John Paul II on his second visit to Mexico. Verdaguer followed it with a second duet with Miguel, "Vamos a Empezar de Nuevo." The video was number one in rotation on the MTV Latin channel.
Verdaguer's 1993 album, Lágrimas, comprised ballads driven by various Latin rhythms, from salsa to merengue. When not recording, Verdaguer was touring and selling out festival and concert stages across Latin America and Europe. When he wasn't touring, he was producing for Miguel. In 1999, the album Inolvidable, which he recorded in Los Angeles with the Mexican musician Gustavo Farías, went double gold.
Verdaguer and Miguel joined forces for two national tours. In 2003, they performed a concert at the Metropólitan Theater in Mexico City called "Siempre Fuimos Dos" and followed it with an audio/video package of the same title that charted in both Mexico and the U.S.
In 2007, he and Miguel performed together at the Auditorio Nacional de la Ciudad de México. The concert was released simultaneously in Mexico and the United States under the title El Mejor Espectáculo Romántico en Estados Unidos ("The Best Romantic Show in America"); the album achieved double-gold status and remained in Mexico's Top Ten sales charts for six weeks.
In 2009, Verdaguer issued Mexicano Hasta Las Pampas, which signified a stylistic shift into the ranchero genre. It was produced Joan Sebastian, who also composed most of its singles: "Voy a Conquistarte" and "Quién de los Dos Será" both charted at Mexican radio. The album achieved platinum status in Mexico and the United States. In addition, it received two Latin Grammy nominations in 2009, for Best Ranchera Music Album and Best Mexican Regional Song ("Voy a Conquistarte"); two nominations at the 2009 Oye awards under the categories "Best Ranchero Soloist" and "Album of the Year," and a nomination to the Premio Lo Nuestro for "Best Ranchero Artist of the Year." Verdaguer followed with three consecutive live albums: Mexicanísimos, Vol. I and Mexicanísimos, Vol. II (with Miguel) in 2010 and 2011 respectively, and Pregúnteme in 2011. The latter achieved platinum certification in Mexico.
To celebrate 40 years in the music business, Verdaguer issued Juego de Valientes in 2012, which contained a dozen unreleased original songs. 2014 saw the release of the singer's second ranchera project, Mexicano Hasta Las Pampas 2, produced by Chucho Rincón and Fabián Rincón. The album included two co-writes with Joan Sebastian. Its singles -- "Cuando él No Está," "Te Voy a Demandar," and "Para No Pensar en Ti" -- were all supported by videos produced in the Mexican state of Durango and issued simultaneously. Verdaguer received a pair of Latin Grammy nominations for Best Ranchera Album and Best Regional Song ("Cuando él No Está"). Two years later, he released "Gluten Free," the first single from his 11th studio album, titled Organic, recorded live at home accompanied by younger artists. It netted two charting singles in "El Marinero" in both its banda and pop versions. 2018 saw the issue of the covers collection Retrohits. ~ Thom Jurek~ Rovi