Azúcar Moreno

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Azúcar Moreno
Genres Latin pop, pop, Latin music, flamenco
Years active (1984–2008) (2014- )
Labels EMI, Capitol, CBS Records, Sony Music, Epic Records
Past members Antonia (Toñi) Salazar
Encarnación (Encarna) Salazar

Azúcar Moreno (Spanish for "brown sugar") was a famous Spanish music duo who have sold more than 3 million albums and singles since 1985 domestically, and became famous in Europe, the United States and Latin America in the 1990s, with approximately 10 million albums sold worldwide.

Biography[edit]

Composed by sisters Antonia "Toñi" (1963) and Encarnación "Encarna" Salazar (1961), the singing duo comes from Badajoz. They are part of a large family of performers: their grandfather was a musician, their father a singer and author, their brothers the members of the group Los Chunguitos and their uncle is a famous singer Porrina de Badajoz. The Azúcar Moreno sisters began their singing careers as back-up vocalists to their brothers, but in 1982, they were discovered and signed by record label EMI Spain, resulting in two albums with moderate commercial success released in 1984 and 1986. In 1988 they signed with CBS-Epic and relaunched their music with a bolder production style and matching sexier image and released the album Carne De Melocotón. They became one of the first Spanish acts to combine their Romani heritage and traditional cantaora vocal style with urban dance rhythms like disco, rhythm and blues, funk and techno. One of their first hit singles was a house music remix of the track "Aunque Me Falte El Aire", released in 1988. A full-length remix album Mix In Spain was released in 1989 and the follow-up single "Debajo Del Olivo" also became a minor club hit in Continental Europe.

Azúcar Moreno had their commercial breakthrough in Continental Europe and Latin America after singing their song "Bandido", written and produced by prolific Spanish dance producer Raul Orellana, at the Eurovision Song Contest 1990. Unfortunately, the start of their performance was marred by sound problems at the arena in Zagreb. "Bandido" went out as entry number one of twenty-two participating countries. The contest was broadcast live to an audience of approximately 500 million viewers - but due to a tape technician not starting the pre-recorded backing track in time both the singers, their band and the live orchestra missed their cues. Two minutes of absolute silence ensued with much confusion both on and off stage, with the musicians staring blankly into the TV cameras, then a sudden false start of the backing track, then embarrassed applauds from the audience and legendary BBC commentator Terry Wogan dryly saying "Let's hope it doesn't go on like this or we're in for a very long night, ladies and gentlemen".[1] This resulted in the sisters finally having to walk off stage, make a second entrance and start the song and their dance routine all over, making it one of the most memorable - or notorious - moments in the 50 year long history of the contest. In his book The Eurovision Song Contest - The Official History, British Eurovision historian John Kennedy O'Connor in turn describes the incident as "every artist's worst nightmare".[2] Despite this very unfortunate debacle "Bandido" finished an honourable fifth and the song and its accompanying album, also including follow-up single "Devórame Otra Vez", became the starting point of the duo's international career. During the following years, Encarna and Toñi Salazar had the opportunity to work with top producers Emilio Estefan and Estéfano, recording in both the United Kingdom and the United States, achieving a Billboard Music Award for Best Latin Group and becoming one of the top-selling artists in the Hispanic pop scene. 1991's Mambo became their commercial break-through in Japan and the title track of their 1994 album El Amor was featured in Luis Llosa's movie The Specialist.

On their following albums Azúcar Moreno widened their repertoire as they combined original material sung in their typical flamenco vocal style with traditional folk songs like the Chilean "Yo Vendos Unos Ojos Negros", the Italian "O Sole Mio" and the Hebrew "Hava Nagila", influences from other Latin and Caribbean genres like rhumba, mambo, bolero, merengue, reggaeton, salsa and dancehall, as well as Spanish language versions of rock and pop classics like the Rolling Stones' "Paint It, Black", Jackie Wilson's "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher" and The Animals' "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood".

As of 2006, Azúcar Moreno have released some 40 singles, 13 studio albums as well as a large number of hits compilations. Their greatest hit to date is "Solo Se Vive Una Vez" (translated as "You only live once"), which topped the charts in Spain as well as a number of countries in South and Central America. In the 2000s (decade) the track was included on the first Spanish language versions of karaoke video game SingStar. Azúcar Moreno are one of the best selling acts in the history of Spanish popular music, with combined sales of approximately 2 million albums in their native Spain alone and it also makes them one of the most commercially successful acts alongside Sweden's ABBA and Canada's Céline Dion to have their international breakthrough via the Eurovision Song Contest. The Salazar sisters have been the target of much gossip and some of their songs have been slightly controversial in their homeland. Many of their fans see some of their songs as having feminist content, and the duo has been prominently featured on the covers of Spanish tabloid magazines since the early 1990s. The sisters also have a strong gay following in Spain, their 2000 album Amén included a torch ballad especially dedicated to their loyal LGBT fans, "Amigo Mío", and later they also recorded high camp songs like "Divina De La Muerte" and "Sobreviviré", the latter a flamenco version of Gloria Gaynor's gay anthem "I Will Survive".

In 2006, Azúcar Moreno returned to EMI after 18 years with CBS-Sony and were considered one of the top artists to represent Spain again in the Eurovision Song Contest. Ultimately RTVE's choice fell upon Las Ketchup, feeling the sisters' tribute to legendary Spanish singer, dancer, and actress Lola Flores, "Bailando con Lola" ("Dancing with Lola"), was too flamenco-flavoured. Nevertheless, as Toñi and Encarna sing in the opening song "20 Años" on the Bailando Con Lola album: It's been 20 years / Nothing else / 20 years of singing / And we've still got so much to give ...

On November 28, 2007 Toñi Salazár announced to the Spanish media that the duo "would withdraw from the music scene until further notice" due to her sister Encarna having been diagnosed with breast cancer and was to go undergo chemotherapy and then needed time for recuperation.[3]

In September 2008 it was announced that Encarna Salazar has made a full recovery and has been given a clean bill of health but also that there are no immediate plans for the two sisters to continue their musical careers as a duo.[4]

In December 2013 the duo reunited in the show "Tu Cara Me Suena" after 6 years being apart as Azucar Moreno and as sisters. In the show their brothers Los Chunguitos where participating that season (Antonia from Azucar Moreno participated in the show's first season in 2011) and Antonia and Encarna were invited as judges to see Los Chunguitos imitate them singing "Bandido". Antonia appeared first and then Encarna appeared as a surprise inside a huge box. Both sisters had a lovely reunion where they hugged and announced the return of Azucar Moreno for 2014 and that both fixed their differences.[5]

In February 2014 Azucar Moreno appeared in the show "El Hormiguero" where a breaking 3 million people watched the show that night in Spain, they were interviewed with a lot of humor going on and played some games which is part of the show. They also talked about their reconciliation as sisters and Azucar Moreno, and announced they now had an official Twitter (@AzucarMoreno_) and Facebook (Azucar Moreno Oficial). Finally, they announced a Spain tour for 2014 along with a new album and single in the works for the same year.[6][7]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Album Sales Certification
1984 Con La Miel En Los Labios
50,000+
Gold
1986 Estimúlame
50,000+
Gold
1988 Carne De Melocotón
50,000+
Gold
1989 Mix In Spain (Remix album)
1990 Bandido
300,000+
x3 Platinum
1990 The Sugar Mix Album (Remix album)
1991 Mambo
200,000+
x2 Platinum
1992 Ojos Negros
100,000+
x1 Platinum
1994 El Amor
100,000+
x1 Platinum
1996 Esclava De Tu Piel
500,000+
x5 Platinum
1997 Mucho Azúcar - Grandes Éxitos
50,000+
Gold
1998 Olé
200,000+
x2 Platinum
2000 Amén
300,000+
x3 Platinum
2002 Únicas
100,000+
x1 Platinum
2004 Desde El Principio
50,000+
Gold
2006 Bailando Con Lola
50,000+
Gold

(*)Sales in Spain

Singles[edit]

  • 1984 "Azúcar Moreno" / "Luna Coqueta"
  • 1984 "Que Si, Que No" / "No Quiero Que Me Quieras"
  • 1984 "Canela" / "El Girasol"
  • 1986 "Estimúlame" / "Ámame"
  • 1988 "Aunque Me Falte El Aire" / "Limón Amargo"
  • 1988 "Debajo Del Olivo" (Mix In Spain) / "Debajo Del Olivo" (Dub Mix)
  • 1989 "Aunque Me Falte El Aire" (Lerele Mix) / "Aunque Me Falte El Aire" (Dub Mix)
  • 1989 "Chica Vaivén" (Express Mix) / "Chica Vaivén" (Dub Mix)
  • 1989 "Alerta Corazón" (Casablanca Mix) / "Alerta Corazón" (Dub Mix)
  • 1990 "Bandido" / "Bandido" (Instrumental)
  • 1990 "Ven Devórame Otra Vez"
  • 1990 "A Caballo"
  • 1991 "¡Torero!"
  • 1991 "Mambo"
  • 1991 "Tú Quieres Más (Porque Te Amo)"
  • 1991 "Ahora O Nunca"
  • 1991 "Lujuria"
  • 1992 "Moliendo Café"
  • 1992 "Hazme El Amor"
  • 1993 "Veneno"
  • 1993 "Azucarero" (Remix)
  • 1993 "Mírame" (with Luis Miguel)
  • 1994 "El Amor" / "Ando Buscando Un Amor"
  • 1994 "No Será Fácil"
  • 1994 "Hay Que Saber Perder"
  • 1996 "Sólo Se Vive Una Vez" (The Caribbean Remixes) / (The Mediterranean Remixes)
  • 1996 "Esclava De Tu Piel"
  • 1996 "Hoy Tengo Ganas De Ti"
  • 1996 "La Cita"
  • 1997 "Bandolero"
  • 1997 "Hava Naguila"
  • 1997 "Muévete Salvaje" / "Bandido"
  • 1997 "Tápame"
  • 1998 "Mecachis"
  • 1998 "No Pretenderás"
  • 1998 "Olé"
  • 1998 "Cumbaya" / "Ese Beso"
  • 1999 "Agua Que No Has De Beber"
  • 2000 "Amén"
  • 2000 "Dale Que Dale"
  • 2000 "Mamma Mia"
  • 2001 "Ay Amor"
  • 2002 "Bésame" (Mixes)
  • 2002 "Volvería A Nacer"
  • 2002 "Tequila" (Mixes)
  • 2002 "Divina De La Muerte"
  • 2003 "Mi Ritmo"
  • 2003 "Sobreviviré"
  • 2004 "Se Me Va"
  • 2004 "Él"
  • 2006 "Clávame"
  • 2006 "Bailando Con Lola"
  • 2007 "20 Años"
Preceded by
Nina
with "Nacida para amar"
Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest
1990
Succeeded by
Sergio Dalma
with "Bailar pegados"

References[edit]

Sources and external links[edit]