Juan Manuel Lebrón
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Juan Manuel Lebron began his show business career as a youngster, when he became a singer at the Sexteto Ritmico group. Not long after, Lebron became the lead singer of Orquesta Sensacional, a popular salsa orchestra of the era.
In 1976, Lebron made his debut as an actor, when he was hired to play "JuanMa" in channel 2's comedy show, "En Casa de JuanMa y Wiwi" ("At JuanMa and Wiwi's Home"). Lebron acted alongside Awilda Carbia, who played "JuanMa"'s wife "Wiwi". The pair became one of Puerto Rico's most popular television couples in history, and their show lasted fourteen years on Puerto Rican television. In 1978, Lebron was recognized with the Diplo comedian of the year award, an award given to Puerto Rican comedy actors. By 1980, he had been recognized by the Puerto Rican Junior Commerce Chamber as one of the "top ten Puerto Rican youngsters".
Having already participated in his first album (as a member of Orquesta Sensacional), Lebron in 1982 released a single. "Amores sin Sentido" ("Nonsense Love Relationships"), which became a chart topper in Puerto Rico. By then, he formed part, alongside Lourdes Chacon, Otilio Warrington, Shorty Castro and Adrián García, among others, of another comedy show, "Los Kakukomicos" ("The Telemundo Comedians"). In "Los Kakukomicos", Lebron formed part of a mock music group that satirized Menudo, a well known boy band of the era. He and Warrington also became popular as a comic duo as time went by.
In 1985, Lebron represented Puerto Rico in the Festival OTI for Latin American singers. He sang "Represento", a major hit song that was written by Lou Briel. One of the people who backed the choosing of Lebron as Puerto Rico's participant at that festival was Lola Flores.
In 1986, Lebron was awarded the "Buho de Oro" trophy in Panama as a popular entertainer in that Central American country, where he earned a golden album that same year, for the sales produced by his album, "Represento".
During the 1980s also, Lebron was a popular talk show visitor, being invited to many of Puerto Rico's talk shows on multiple occasions. In 1990, production of "En Casa de JuanMa y Wiwi" ceased, and Lebron released another album, "El Primero" ("The First One"), of which one single, "Ella y Tu" ("You and Her"), earned Lebron a nomination for salsa singer of the year at the Premios Lo Nuestro awards. The album reached number-one on the Billboard Tropical Albums chart.
By 1992, Lebron was chosen by channel 2 as their spokesman for the yearlong celebrations of the quicentennial of the discovery of the Americas by Cristobal Colon. He represented Puerto Rico at the Expo '92, which was held that year in Sevilla, Spain.
Lebron in 1993 received the Paoli award as Puerto Rican salsa singer of the year. He has released a total of nine albums or CD's; these include dedications to Nat King Cole and Tito Rodriguez and a production, "Una Obra de Amor" ("An Act of Love"), which was later re-edited and dedicated to children with HIV.
Juan Manuel Lebron and Junior Abrahms, a former sportscaster turned actor and show host, are in charge of hosting a game show named "Atrevete" ("Dare"). Nevertheless, he has dabbed in on Telemundo Puerto Rico's main rival, WAPA-TV, making sporadic appearances at WAPA shows, usually when friends of his work at a particular WAPA show. He also acted in "Los Seijo-Dones" ("The Seijo-Dones Family") and "Anda Pa'l Cara" (which loosely translates to "Holy Cow!").