17 February 1948 (age 69)
Ciudad de México, Mexico
Jose Sosa Esquivel and Margarita Ortiz, both artists' first-born, came into the world at the end of the 40's. The former was a tenor of the National opera in Mexico and the later concert pianist. Febuary 17th 1948 set the guidelines for the JOSE ROMULO SOSA ORTIZ.
Games, mischief, study and songs, musical festivals, the school choir, the intonation of the National Anthem in relevant dates, all paved the way to the Perfomer JOSE ROMULO SOSA ORTIZ, who by the beginging of the 50's started to show his lineage.
To learn to play the guitar was must, without neglecting his studies. On approaching his teens during the turbulent 60's, his only and most important obligation was to go through high school. His first excursion as a singer was in March, 1963 when he formed part trio, together with his cousin Paco Ortiz and his friend Alfredo Benitez.
The serenades in the repertory of the romantic hits of the time, set forth the beginnings of a career. However, he always had to fight his father's opposition, who demanded that only classical music be listened to at home, and that his studies as an Aviation's Mechanic not neglected.
JOSE ROMULO SOSA ORTIZ unintentionally, started seeking a style, being the faithful companion of a worker in the lithographic field, in the dark "Repro Art" room. Being a romantic essence, he worked, while listening to his favorties Frank Sinatra and Johnny Mathis on the radio….JOSE ROMULO SOSA ORTIZ started to define his interpretation style, by then he was already working in the most famous "Singing Cafes" of the time, such as "Plein Solei" and "Ipanema".
THE DIFFICULT INITIATION
The road was paved it was in 1965, by recommendation and after a long wait that his first single (Orfeon) appeared: "El Mundo" and " Ma Vie, Mi Vida", which started his career on the TV , in Mexico's channel 2 in the "Orfeon A Go Go" program. JOSE ROMULO was starting to overcome obstacles and to continue after his TV appearances, he formed part of a jazz bossanova trio, namely "Los Peg", in which he played the contrabass. Enrique Herrera and Gilberto Sanchez were the other two. The "Semiramis Cafe" was the ideal setting for them. They opened on March 21, 1966, a successful start, but on occasions they had work, but on many others they did not.
Its quality is such that from Semiramis they go to other bars such as Tropicana, El Farolito, Perla Negra, Elefante Rosa, La Llave de Oro, El Cazador and Apache 14, among others. It was then 1967 and precisely in Apache 16 where the composer Ruben Fuentes hears him for the first time, immediately offering him a contract with RCA Victor JOSE ROMULO SOSA ORTIZ starts to attract attention.
The economic situation was pressing to a certain extent, but his mother supports and stimulates him, and to show her unconditional support back in 1969, she opens a restaurant, JOSE ROMULO SOSA ORTIZ accepts the offer to record again.
It was nearing the end of the decade full changes, he records his first LP, controverted for its indisputable romantic quality. The experts affirmed that it was not commercial, but didn't doubt at all of the exquisite interpretation of themes such as "SOLO UNA MUJER", "PERO TE EXTRAÑO" and "SIN ELLA". JOSE ROMULO SOSA ORTIZ was becoming JOSE JOSE
in honor of his father's memory, recently deceased.
The struggle was tenacious, not easy, money was scarce and he returns to his serenades in order to support himself.
In December, 1969, "LA NAVE DEL OLVIDO" (Dino Ramos) is a total hit; he had found "HIS" song. He starts to taste the honey of success, he is reaffirmed as an excellent singer with his own style. The public applauds and welcomes him as one of their favorite singers. JOSE JOSE was starting to taste success.
SUCCESS STARTED COURTING HIM
He starts the 70's very encouraged, the serenades are being left behind, his economic situation is improving, he was on the right track.
He participated in the second edition of the Latin Song Festival, (known today as OTI), representing Mexico and is on March 25, 1970, at only 22 years of age, when the " Teatro Ferrocarrilero" collapsed. Everyone thought he deserved the first place… but the judges gave him the third place. The public protested: that night, he was the winner… "EL TRISTE" was the domestic and international hit the first of many… JOSE JOSE was starting.
People talked only about him. His songs were heard everywhere.. .The public hummed his tunes. . . his success started to spread and in April, 1970, he travels to Los Angeles to receive a golden record, Hollywood's Golden Record… and meets Ana Elena Noreña Grass.
That same year, he makes his debut in the capital's most popular restaurant, El Patio.
He travels in his first international tour to Los Angeles, Miami, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Brazil and Argentina… he makes his debut on TV along with " TOPO GIGIO" but does not abandon his appearances around Mexico… JOSE JOSE was starting to be reaffirmed as the young romantic voice.
HAPPINESS AND TROUBLES
Maybe fame caught up with him too fast: it is very difficult for one in his twenties to assimilate what success brings. Multiple friends seem to appear, women, money… he suffers inwardly, he then finds himself in a physical and spiritual crisis, everything seems so easy and at the same time so hard… JOSE JOSE was starting to overcome his loneliness with the help of his faith in God.
He emerges, leaving 1970 behind, years of success and troubles. He returns in 1971 to receive the "El Heraldo" award, granted to him as the Revelation of the year…he is already among the public's favorites.
During 1971, he records again with great sucess. "BUSCANDO UNA SONRISA", the musical theme of his first movie, thus starting his movie career, reaffirming his popularity. JOSE JOSE was becoming an idol. At twenty three he married Ms. Natalia Herrera Calle, granddaughter of ex-president of Mexico, General Plutarco Elias Calles. The marriage only lasted two years because of age differences between them. She was twenty years older than him.
HE IS IN PLACE OF HONOR
One more year, he is among the first in the domestic and international hit parade. "DE PUEBLO EN PUEBLO" is the 1972 song, he sells thousands of records. Several markets demand him, he always guarantees a full house and romanticism.
While his artistic career was in ascent he was going through health and love problems. He still could not find the inner peace he so yearned for, but his mother, his true friend and his public never abandoned him.
Each new record guaranteed quality, thus, from the beginning he found himself in a place of honor. . .JOSE JOSE was starting to become a great record seller. 1973 appears with plenty of work. Another hit, he's not a stranger any longer, whatever he sings is synonymous of acceptance. With his hits "HASTA QUE VUELVAS", success is his once more. JOSE JOSE was starting to harvest his sow.
He is going through a terrible crisis, he is hospitalized, his life is hanging by a thread. A respiratory attack almost overtakes him, but his yearning for life helps him recover. . . JOSE JOSE was starting to win battles.
FINDING MANY EMOTIONS
In 1974 he records two new themes "ES QUE TE QUIERO" and "DEJAME CONOCERTE" from Paul Anka, which reach the first popularity places. His performances in Casino Royale are also a success.
It is an important year for his career, in spite of the ups and downs.
In his tenth anniversary, he appears in the "Teatro Ferrocarrilero", offering several popular concerts. The theater, just as back in the 70's, was collapsing due to deafening applause.
Upon completion of the season, he travels with Ana Elena Noreña (Anel) to Catemaco, Veracruz, where they are married. On November 27,1975 their first child is born, a boy, Jose Francisco Carmelo Augusto. While he was having all kinds of success in Santo Domingo and Mexico his songs "SENTIMIENTOS" and "DIVINA ILUSION" were in silently played. . . JOSE JOSE was starting to enjoy fatherhood.
A CYCLE IS COMPLETED. . . A NEW STAGE EMERGES
In 1976 he decided to change his recording company. Inspite of regaining ground and several hits, namely "PALOMA", "TAN CERCA TAN LEJOS", "TODO ES AMOR" and "EL PRINCIPE", the support of his recording company was not the same.
Thus, he decides to sign with a company which was just starting operations in Mexico: BMG ARIOLA. . . JOSE JOSE was on his way to fruitful stage. With renewed energy, full of hope and convinced that the step taken was the correct one, he records "GAVILAN O PALOMA". In 1977, which was a billboard first and months, not only in our country, but abroad. JOSE JOSE was beginning to be a popularity and sales prodigy.
1978 was the year when he was consolidated in nightclubs. Once again, El patio was the ideal place to launch him. . .one week of presentations were not enough. The record of the year was "VOLCAN" - In 1979 "LO PASADO PASADO" and in 1980 "SI ME DEJAS AHORA" confirm him as a great record seller number one in Mexico.
The recitals in the "Teatro de la Ciudad" during two consecutive years were recorded as magnificent; thousands of persons were not able to get in… JOSE JOSE started to set admission records.
HIS DEFINITE FAME
At the beginning of the 80's, a transition decade, the "Teatro de la Ciudad"
was insufficient to admit his thousands of fans. It is then that he appears in the "Auditorio Nacional" for the first time, singing for six thousand spectators in each of the three presentations. . .always a full house without a doubt… JOSE JOSE started being THE PRINCE OF SONG.
Forty two thousand spectators is almost impossible to believe, but he succeeded in having such a large amount of persons come to see him in 1981, once again in the "Auditorio Nacional" in seven concerts in five consecutive days . . .and also in this year when he returns to "El Patio", this time for a period of 13 days. The public, his fans, wouldn't let him go.. . JOSE JOSE was already the idol.
THE REAFFIRMATION OF HIS INTERNATIONAL QUALITY
The public buys his records, reads about him, admires him, follows him… it is 1982, "El Patio" engages him not only for a few days, but for a month at a time, there is not one day when there is not a full house.
Success courted him. In 1983 he records "MI VIDA" with Rafael Perez Botija, his great friend and producer, and continues his excellent sales history, this was going to be a decisive year both professionally and personally. His second child was born, a baby girl, who was named Marysol
Estrella Margarita Elena.
Meanwhile, he was preparing a tour around Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America…in addition to traveling to Spain to record an LP, written, produced and arranged by Manuel Alejandro…JOSE JOSE had the best record of his career in hand, it was 1984.
"SECRETOS" was his greatest hit: FOUR MILLION COPIES, Mexico, the
U.S., Central and South America was successfully conquered. "LAGRIMAS, "CUANDO VAYAS CONMIGO", "LO DUDO", "EL AMOR ACABA", "HE RENUCIADO A TI", "QUIERO PERDERME CONTIGO", "VOY A LLENARTE TODA", are some of the songs in this LP, which was in first in popularity for almost a year. The ten songs were a total success…JOSE JOSE was already America's idol.
In 1985 he records "PROMESAS" , under Rafael Perez Botija's production and direction, his success was reaffirmed in 1986 with "REFLEXIONES" with the same producer. Without doubt his records, LPs, sold like hot cakes, each song had a different dimension in his voice. His followers (fans) and imitators were plentiful, they all wanted to sing like him…JOSE JOSE was Latin America's romantic banner. He closes the decade with Paco Cepero's production "JOSE JOSE SIEMPRE CONTIGO", thus continuing his impressive sales.
In this last decade, the end of the 20th century, a JOSE JOSE physically and mentally mature, has made a balance of his 25 years of struggle, conquering obstacles, rowing against the tide, but always, hand in hand with God who led his way. He knows and is aware of the public's adoration, forgiveness
and total acceptance. Dedicated to his family, himself, and his public he now offers after a quarter of a century from debut, a first class LP, similar to all the previous ones, with the significant titles of "EN LAS BUENAS… Y EN LAS MALAS". This record, made by Oscar Lopez, has become a total
hit just a few weeks from its launching.
It goes without saying that the public, His Public, enjoys each of his songs.
"AMNESIA" is sung by all, it is the current romantic success, people identify with this love story, a love that refuses to die or be forgotten…the same happens with "ATRAPADO", "UNOS QUITAN Y OTROS DAN", "PEQUENAS COSAS GRANDES", "UN HOTEL EN VEZ DE CORAZON", "HAY UN MAÑANA", "NI ME LO DIGAS", "ESCUCHANDO OFERTAS", "ESA MUJER", "CASO COMUN Y CORRIENTE" and "UNO MISMO", all of these have something to convey…each one carries his sensitivity, who knows about happiness and troubles.
In 1990, Raul Velazco organized a well deserved homage for the 25th anniversary of this artistic career, reason for which several other performers joined him namely, Libertad La Marque, Valeria Lynch, Eugenia Leon, Marco Antonio Muñiz, Vicente Fernandez, Julio Iglesias, Roberto Carlos, Guadalupe Pineda, Veronica Castro, Chucho Ferrer, Pepe Jara, Monarrez, Carlos Cuevas, Magdalena Zarate and many more. The impact of this homage was such, that it was transmitted three times on television, and was sold in two records which have registered plentiful sales. This record was entitled "JOSE JOSE 25 ANOS".
In 1991, Oscar Lopez produces for the second time, the record "QUE ES EL AMOR"… JOSE JOSE is and will always be the PRINCE OF SONGS. That same year, he made several presentations in Central and South America, he returns with his show to New York's Madison Square Garden, makes a presentation at the Chicago Pavillion, and obtains a platinum record for "40 y 20". That same year he divorces Ana Elena Noreña.
And thus, in 1993, the 30th anniversary of his artistic career in September, BMG Ariola pays homage to "The Prince of Songs". Several great singers participated in this show, namely: Rocio Durcal, Eugenia Leon, Marco Antonio Muñiz, Napoleon, Camilo Sesto, Guadalupe Pineda, Raul Di Blasio, great pianist, and the "maestro" Armando Manzanero, from which a best selling album was made: "30 AÑOS DE SER EL PRINCIPE".
1993, in Miami, he meets Sara Salazar the niece of the Mexican actor and movie producer Abel Salazar.
Later on, to continue the 30th artistic career anniversary celebrations, he had
a show at "El Patio" and then at the "Teatro Blanquita".
In August, 1994, JOSE JOSE launched "GRANDEZA MEXICANA". 1984
and 1994: Success hits this couple once more, since the production of this recording material was undertaking by Manuel Alejandro, who produced "Secretos" in 1984, this album has sold more than four million copies so far.
With "GRANDEZA MEXICANA" both artists pay homage to the Mexican people; also in this production he sings together with the Spanish composer "JOSE Y MANUEL", and together with his son Jose, the song "LA FUERZA DE LA SANGRE".
January 5th, 1995, he marries Sara Salazar in a privately held ceremony, surrounded by relatives and close friends. JOSE JOSE now lives in Miami with his wife Sara and daughters Celine, Monique and Sarita.
Once again 1995 is the year when he reunites with the great Argentinean composer and producer Roberto Livi, with whom he prepares his 28th LP entitled "MUJERIEGO". This album, in 1996, has been among the first ten in popularity and sales in the continent, for which he was awarded yet another platinum record.
THE MOVIES HAVE ALL KNOWN HIM
The movie industry claims him… the idol accepts, he knows that his public
wants to see him in another aspect and thus, giving way to curiosity as to entering an unknown field with great professionalism, in 1971 he makes the movie "BUSCANDO UNA SONRISA" in which Nubia Marti appears as the young actress. It's the first appearance for both.
This was followed by "SUEÑO DE AMOR" in 1972, "LA CARRERA DE MILLON" in 1973… A long movie silence, his many commitments prevent him from filming again and it's not only until 1984 when, under Carlos Amador's production, he makes "GAVILAN O PALOMA", a very autobiographical movie, in which Christian Bach, Jorje Ortiz de Pinedo and Gina Romand among others, also appear.
Presented for the first time on September 1985, it breaks all the records in Mexico, the U.S., Central and South America.
Three years later, he accepts to personify the latter composer Alvaro Carrillo in the movie "SABOR A MI". The success of this production, also from Carlos Amador, was such that the theaters were completely sold out and the LP with the original band of the movie was one of the best sellers of the season, and more so due to the brilliant interpretation of Carrillo's theme, in the voice of JOSE JOSE.
In 1995 he returns to the movies in a dramatic interpretation of "PERDONAME TODO" with Alejandra Avalos and under the direction of
Raul Araiza, which, as usual, meant another box hit.
Given JOSE JOSE'S professional course, he was elected "Mr. Amigo" in 1984, award granted year after year to popular figures, who in one way or another do something in favor of friendship between two countries, Mexico and the US.
1985, MCA produced a TV Special in Acapulco, which was marketed as a "Videohome" for the American Union.
JOSE JOSE was presented at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel in 1986 where he excelled, and was committed for three consecutive years to appear at the Tropicana Hotel in Atlantic City.
Later he sang before 15 thousand people at the Madison Square Garden in
New York, and in 1986 at the Radio City Music Hall, showing the much desired 'sold out' in the marquee. In April, 1987 he traveled to Israel for
three presentations at the Mann Heijal Hatarbut in Tel Aviv, where he is known for some of his LP's which have reached the Middle East.
At the end of 1989 he visited Japan, offering several presentations, making TV appearances as well, where he was regally received by his Excellency, Mario Moya Palencia, Mexico's Ambassador in Japan, in which the "Prince of Songs" was the object of a simple homage by the goverment authorities of the Sunrise Empire.
Also in 1989, Mexico's "Monumental Plaza de Toro" allowed him to approach the public, "his" audience who love and follow all his presentations in a great event which was, as usual, a complete sucess.
In 1995, BMG celebrates JOSE JOSE'S 50th birthdate and 40 year anniversary in the musical industry at Planet Hollywood, Miami. Other performers and sports figures joined him, such as: Juan Gabriel, Christian Castro, Angelica Maria, Angelica Vale, Celia Cruz, Olga Guillot, Hugo Sanchez, Pedro Guerrero, Bebu Silvetti, Maria Antonieta Collins, Guillermo Benitez, Marco Antonio Muñiz and many more.
Later that year BMG launches JOSE JOSE's discography, seven volumes composed of thirty three CD's, in homage of his thirty five year musical anniversary.
Also, in commemoration of JOSE JOSE's thirty fifth musical anniversary, Reader's Digest launches a limited edition collection of his greatest hits entitled "JOSE JOSE; 35 AÑOS DE AMOR" containing five CD's.
For the first time in the musical industry, all the Latin rythms (salsa, merengue, banda, rock en español, bolero, etc.) have tributed JOSE JOSE for his thirty five year musical anniversary by launching CD's containing his songs in the new rythms, reporting millionaire sales.
After thirty seven years as a perfomer… AND MORE THAN FORTY MILLION COPIES SOLD AROUND THE WORLD, JOSE JOSE CONTINUES HIS PRESENTATIONS LIKE ALWAYS IN THE MOST IMPORTANT STAGES IN THE U.S. AND THE REST OF THE CONTINENT. JOSE JOSE WILL ALWAYS HOLD A PLACE DEAR TO OUR HEARTS WITH THE TITLE OF "THE PRINCE OF SONGS."
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