Camilo Sesto

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Camilo Sesto
Sesto in 2017
Sesto in 2017
Background information
Birth nameCamilo Blanes Cortés
Born(1946-09-16)16 September 1946
Alcoy, Spain
Died8 September 2019(2019-09-08) (aged 72)
Madrid, Spain
  • Singer
  • Songwriter
  • Vocals
  • Guitar
  • Drums
Years active1964-2019
Associated acts

Camilo Blanes Cortés (16 September 1946 - 8 September 2019),[1] known professionally as Camilo Sesto "El Rey del Amor", was a Spanish singer, songwriter and music producer.[2] The singer claims to have sold more than 175 million records. [3] There are various sales figures for him, ranging from 70 to 200 million records sold. [4][5] However, his actual sales would represent more than 2.8 million copies worldwide, including nearly 900,000 certified. [6]

Biographical summary[edit]

Sesto sang in two pop bands during the 1960s and won a contest in a Madrid television show. He played a part in the Spanish filming of Shakespeare's Hamlet. Later, he teamed up with singer and producer Juan Pardo, but success would come on its own accord, with his own music works.

As a composer, Sesto wrote songs for artists such as Ángela Carrasco, Miguel Bosé, Lucía Méndez, Charytín Goyco and José José, among others.[7][8] He also produced and translated to Spanish the lyrics of an album by the popular Australian rock band Air Supply. Throughout his career, he remained one of the most influential pioneer artists of pop and rock in Spanish, that would inspire many newer acts in the Latin music world as well as across Europe, the Americas and Asia.[9]


The mid-sixties marked the beginning of Sesto's career. After producing his first record with his band Los Dayson, in 1965 they traveled to Madrid to appear on Televisión Española's Salto a la Fama. In 1966, Sesto joined another band, Los Botines, whose music was influenced by The Beatles.[10] In 1967, the band appeared in the film Los chicos del Preu. At the beginning (1969) he participated in the chorus of the song "O Tren" by Andrés do Barro, produced by Juan Pardo.[11] In 1970, he recorded various singles including: "Llegará el Verano" and "Sin Dirección", with the artistic name "Camilo Sexto". He became his own producer, as well as the producer of other artists. His solo career started in 1970, the same year he won the "Revelación" price, at the "Olés de la Canción" festival.[12]

After meeting producer, Juan Pardo [es] in 1972, he launched a solo career under the stage name Camilo Sesto.[10] He appeared on Spanish TV's program "Buenas Noches" singing "Algo de Mí" (his first No.1 record). Algo de Mi reached the Number 1 slot in Spain and most of the Spanish speaking world, and it maintained that top position for a whole year in most of Latin-America.[13] In 1973, he represented Spain with the song "Algo Más" in the second edition of the OTI Festival, which was held in the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte.[14] In 1974, his success as a pop singer continued with record sales escalating rapidly. His concerts took him around the world with such songs as "¿Quieres ser mi amante?", "Llueve sobre mojado", "Yo soy así", "Isabel", "Déjame participar en tu juego" and "Mienteme".[15] "¿Quieres ser mi amante?" received a Grammy nomination for Best Latin Recording in 1976.[16] He has received several platinum certifications.[17]

On 6 November 1975, Sesto starred in the role of Jesus on the Spanish version/adaptation by Jaime Azpilicueta of the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar at the Alcalá-Palace Theatre in Madrid (Spain).[18] The production was very costly[19] as he financed it entirely.[20] His work was a success and received positive reviews. The public filled the theatre and shows were extended to four months.[21] Both in terms of interpretation and musically speaking, Sesto's show was considered of great quality. Andrew Lloyd Webber admitted that this was the only production that could equal the original American version.[22]

After successfully starring in the Spanish version of "Jesus Christ Superstar" catapulted him to superstardom, Sesto continued gaining fame as a singer and composer. Notable hits from Sesto include "Vivir Así es Morir de Amor", "Jamás", "Perdóname", "Melina" (a song about Melina Mercouri),[23] and "Donde Estes, Con Quien Estes".[24] Sesto went through a retirement in 1987 until he returned to the music scene in 1991. That year, he released A Voluntad del Cielo (Heaven Willing).[25] The album's lead single, "Amor Mío, ¿Qué Me Has Hecho?" (My love, what have you done to me?), reached number one on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart in the United States.[26][27] The track was nominated for Pop Song of the Year at the Lo Nuestro Awards of 1992 and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Latin Awards of 1993, respectively.[28][29]

He survived a liver transplant in August 2001 and released an album, Alma, two years later.[30] Sesto returned to the stage in 2004 at the Viña del Mar International Song Festival in Chile. Sesto won many awards at Viña del Mar in 2004.[31] His last musical work was the singing of Bujalance's football team's hymn.[32]

In 2008, Camilo announced his retirement from the studio, and in September 2009 he announced that he would go on a farewell tour. He would tour the Americas (United States, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, and other countries) for the next two years. In October 2010, he gave his last two concerts in Madrid, which were released as his first "live" (and also last) album. A live DVD called "Todo de Mí" recorded in Madrid, was released around the same time.[33]

Sesto in 2017

In 2011, he was awarded the "Highest Hispanic Pride" medal in Las Vegas, U.S. That day was proclaimed 28 may Camilo Sesto's Day in Nevada.[34][35][36]


In 2011, there were rumours of another Sesto "farewell tour", that some news media called "La Gira del Adiós" ("The Farewell Tour"). Allegedly, tour dates were made, radio stations spoke about it, tickets were sold, etc. There were many convincing ads in local newspapers, and magazines. However, Sesto later communicated that this was nothing but a "hoax" to get people to buy fake tickets for a tour that he himself was not even aware of. Many radio stations and music media threatened to take legal action against the singer if he would not "meet with the responsibility", and Sesto was forced to once again come back into the media to try to clear his name. The courts ruled in favour of some institutions that eventually did sue.[37][38]


Sesto died on 8 September 2019 at a Madrid hospital from kidney failure, eight days shy of his 73rd birthday.[39] He was due to release a new album on 13 September, as well as embark in a tour in the United States the following month. Spain's acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez wrote on Twitter: "Spain and all of Latin America mourn the loss of Camilo Sesto. His melodies will always be part of our memory."[40]


From the 1970s to 2000s Sesto created many hit songs, with almost everyone coming from his own inspiration, being the author, performer, composer, and producer of all his works.[41] Camilo Sesto has the record of two presentations daily for 20 consecutive days at Madison Square Garden in the 1980s. And thousands of awards and recognitions among the most prominent: Fitur.- The Commonwealth of Alto Guadalquivir Spain appoints Camilo Sesto cultural ambassador 2007 València (EP). The Council of Ministers, at the proposal of the Minister of Culture and Sports, José Guirao, has approved this September 13 by Royal Decree the posthumous award of the "Medal of Merit in Fine Arts", in its category of Gold, to the singer, composer and performer Camilo Blanes Cortés, 'Camilo Sesto'. Dove of Peace Award, Camilo sesto 2016 For his part, Father Ángel, who has welcomed this act in his Church, has described it as "privilege" to be able to count on Camilo Sesto, whom at other times they were going to see in Jesus Christ Superstar. He has also highlighted the importance of the prayer of the Our Father and has called for "bread, justice, and forgiveness for all." In addition, during the presentation, the priest has delivered the singer of the Dove of Peace. Alameda Camilo Sesto inaugurates an avenue with his name in Alcoy 2018 This inauguration will take place two years after Camilo Blanes Cortés (the real name of the artist) received the Alcoyana Gold Medal and also be proclaimed a Favorite Son of this city. Alameda Camilo Sesto inaugurates an avenue with his name in Alcoy 2018

Most of Sesto's works are in Spanish, but he has also recorded songs in English, Valencian, Italian, German, Japanese and Portuguese. Camilo has released at least one album in English.[42] With a frenetic level of activity in the 1970s and 1980s, he remains one of the artists with the most number 1 hits (totaling 52).[43] His albums had sold over 180 million copies by 2019.[44] In 2017, Sesto was inducted into the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame.[45]


Studio albums[46]



  1. ^ "Cuentas oficiales de Camilo Sesto en redes sociales informan de la muerte del cantante español a los 72 años". La Tercera (in Spanish). Copesa. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  2. ^ "Camilo Sesto: Life on top of the charts". Being Latino. 18 May 2012. Archived from the original on 30 August 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
  3. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Camilo Sesto en Zapeando (3-11-2016)". YouTube.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Canciones Compuestas por Camilo Blanes". Hispanopolis. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
  8. ^ "CAMILO SESTO". 31 March 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  9. ^ "Sergio Fachelli habla de Camilo Sesto". Carep Musica. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  10. ^ a b Bonacich, Drago. "Camilo Sesto: Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  11. ^ Román, Manuel (29 August 2015). "La vida atormentada de Andrés do Barro". Chic (in Spanish). Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  12. ^ Calle, Tommy (8 September 2019). "Camilo Sesto ya no pudo cumplir con su público de Los Ángeles, la muerte se llevó al ídolo español". Los Angeles Times (in Spanish). Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  13. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  14. ^ Cheky (9 September 2019). "Beloved Spanish Singer Camilo Sesto Dies at 72". Remezcla. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  15. ^ Molero, Julián (23 November 2011). "LaFonoteca, Disco: Camilo". La Fonoteca (in Spanish). Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  16. ^ "18th Annual Grammy Awards". Billboard. Vol. 88 no. 4. 24 January 1976. p. 79. ISSN 0006-2510.
  17. ^ Castilla, Amelia (23 December 2018). "Entrevista Camilo Sesto: "La música de ahora, con perdón, es una mierda"". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  18. ^ Pardo, José F. (8 September 2019). ""Jesucristo Superstar": el origen del musical con el que Camilo Sesto hizo historia en España". abc (in Spanish). Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  19. ^ "Biografía de Camilo Sesto". Radio Pasion Ecuador: Grandes Biografias. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  20. ^ "Jesucristo Superstar". lafonoteca. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  21. ^ "Camilo Sesto: Biografia". CMTV. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  22. ^ "Jesus Christ Superstar". El Portal del METAL. 28 November 2009. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  23. ^ "Camilo Sesto: ¿A quién le dedicó la canción Melina?". La Republica (in Spanish). 8 September 2019. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  24. ^ Roiz, Jessica (8 September 2019). "'Algo de Mi,' 'Perdoname' & More Timeless Ballads to Remember Camilo Sesto". Billboard. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  25. ^ Molero, Julián. "Camilo Sesto – A Voluntad del Cielo" (in Spanish). La Fonoteca. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
  26. ^ "Hot Latin Songs". Billboard. 2 November 1991. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  27. ^ "Hot Latin Songs". Billboard. 23 November 1991. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  28. ^ Lannert, John (11 January 1992). "Billboard Latin Meet Celebrates Prospering Genre". Billboard. Vol. 105 no. 21. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 71. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  29. ^ "Ana Gabriel leads nominees for Latin Music Awards". Billboard. Vol. 104 no. 13. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 28 March 1992.
  30. ^ "Camilo Sesto un artista clásico de la balada". El Universo (in Spanish). 8 June 2003. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  31. ^ "Acapara Camilo Sesto premios en Viña del mar". Orizaba En Red. 20 February 2004. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  32. ^ "Camilo Sesto canta a Bujalance". Camilo Sesto's Official Site. Archived from the original on 4 February 2015. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  33. ^ "Las razones de Camilo Sesto". Efe Eme. 30 September 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  34. ^ "Proclaman May 28 "Día de Camilo Sesto", its day in Nevada is May 28". San Diego Red. 27 May 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  35. ^ "CAMILO SESTO". Formula-Romantica. 22 July 2011. Archived from the original on 24 December 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
  36. ^ "Camilo Sesto, máximo orgullo hispano". 18 June 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
  37. ^ "Camilo Sesto advierte a sus fans "La gira del adiós" es una estafa". ABC. Spain. 8 November 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  38. ^ "Camilo Sesto condenado a pagar 80.000 euros". 8 November 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  39. ^ "Spanish singer-songwriter Camilo Sesto Dies at 72". The Washington Post. 8 September 2019.
  40. ^ Harmata, Claudia (8 September 2019). "Latin Pop Icon Camilo Sesto Dies at 72, Days Before Release of New Album". People. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  41. ^ "Las razones de Camilo Sesto". Efe Eme. 30 September 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  42. ^ "Camilo Canta en Inglés". lafonoteca. February 2008. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
  43. ^ "Los artistas que más discos han vendido en la historia". CARAS. 16 December 2010. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
  44. ^ Cobo, Leila (8 September 2019). "Camilo Sesto, Towering Icon of Romantic Spanish Pop, Dead at 72". Billboard. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  45. ^ Estevez, Marjua (20 October 2017). "Erika Ender, Carlos Vives & More Inducted into the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame". Billboard. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  46. ^ "Camilo Sesto: Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  47. ^ "Camilo Sesto, máximo orgullo hispano". 18 June 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  48. ^ "CAMILO SESTO". 22 July 2014. Archived from the original on 24 December 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  49. ^ "Camilo Sesto una superestrella". Retrieved 27 September 2014.

External links[edit]