Carlos Vives

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Carlos Vives
Vives speaking at the World Economic Forum on Latin America in 2010
Vives speaking at the World Economic Forum on Latin America in 2010
Background information
Birth nameCarlos Alberto Vives Restrepo
Born (1961-08-07) 7 August 1961 (age 62)
Santa Marta, Colombia
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actor
Years active1978–present

Carlos Alberto Vives Restrepo (born 7 August 1961) is a Colombian singer, songwriter and actor. He is known for his interpretation of traditional music styles of Colombia such as vallenato, cumbia, champeta, bambuco and porro as well as genres such as Latin pop, reggaeton, dance pop and tropical music.

Having sold over 20 million records worldwide,[1] Vives is one of the best-selling Latin music artists of all time. He is regarded as one of the most influential artists in the world as he has progressively helped vallenato gain popularity globally by combining traditional vallenato music with pop/rock music, forming a subgenre that has come to be known as "vallenato-pop".

In 2019, Vives was selected as #45 on both the Greatest of All Time Latin Artists[2] and Top Latin Artists 2010s.[3] by Billboard.

His hits include "Matilde Lina", "La Hamaca Grande", "La Gota Fría", "Alicia Adorada" (all four of which are covers of classic vallenato songs), "Pa' Mayte", "La Tierra del Olvido", "Tu Amor Eterno", "Fruta Fresca", "Déjame Entrar", "Luna Nueva", "Carito", "Papadio", "Como Tú", "Décimas Del Parecido" (a tribute to Guillermo Martínez, a Cuban-born radio host who resides in Mayagüez, and for whose program Vives was an occasional master control technician), "Robarte un Beso", (a collaborative effort with fellow Colombian singer Sebastián Yatra), "La Bicicleta" (a collaboration with Shakira) and "Canción Bonita" (collaborative effort with Ricky Martin).

Vives is also a successful actor. His roles as the titular character in the soap opera Gallito Ramírez and as Rafael Escalona in Escalona, a story about the famous Colombian composer of the same name, are among his most important and well-remembered appearances.

He has collaborated with multiple artists, including Juanes, Ricky Martin, Camilo, Shakira, Maluma, Wisin, Daddy Yankee, Alejandro Sanz, Manuel Turizo, Ryan Castro, Sebastián Yatra, Mau y Ricky, Michel Teló, Gente de Zona, Thalía, Pedro Capó,Lalo Ebratt, Los Ángeles Azules, Fito Páez, Carlos Rivera, Play-N-Skillz, Mike Bahía, Nacho and Diego Torres.

Early life[edit]

Carlos Vives was born on 7 August 1961[4] in Santa Marta, Magdalena, Colombia, where he spent his first 12 years of life. At that age, he and his family moved to Bogotá in search of a better life. He enrolled at Jorge Tadeo Lozano University and holds a degree in Advertising from the university. In Bogotá, he also acquired a taste for rock, getting involved in the local music scene, and started playing in bars and cafés around the city.[citation needed]


In 1982, Vives began acting in a number of shows and telenovelas including Pequeños Gigantes ("Little Giants" – 1983) and Tuyo es Mi Corazón ("Yours Is My Heart" – 1985). He finally found fame in 1986 by playing the title role of Gallito Ramírez, which told the story of a Colombian Caribbean coast boxer who falls in love with an uptight girl, who was portrayed by his first wife, Margarita Rosa de Francisco. That same year, he released his first album, Por Fuera y Por Dentro. The album, primarily made of ballads, failed to gain any success. In 1987, he released his second ballad album, No Podrás Escapar de Mí. Though the title track reached No. 30 on the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks, the album did not sell well. His next album, Al Centro de la Ciudad, would become his last album to feature synthesizer-romantic ballads. Some of the songs got some attention being featured in telenovelas, but the album, just as its predecessors, failed to gain success.[citation needed]

In 1989, he was offered an acting job in Puerto Rico, and upon moving, he took a break in his music career. He is remembered for his leading roles in the soaps La Otra and Aventurera.[4] He married Herlinda Gómez,[4] his second wife (they have since divorced). Vives would spend his time between Colombia, Miami and the city of Mayagüez, Herlinda's hometown, during his marriage to her.[citation needed]

Since 1991[edit]

Carlos Vives

Upon his return to Colombia in 1991, he was offered a TV role that would change his life forever. He was cast in the leading role of a fantasy series based on the life of vallenato composer Rafael Escalona unsurprisingly titled Escalona.[4] He sang the composer's songs in the series, and that's when he retooled his career towards vallenato,[5] gaining national success with the release of the Telenovela's two soundtrack albums, Escalona: Un Canto a la Vida and Escalona: Vol. 2.

In 1993, backed by the band "La Provincia", Vives released the album Clásicos de la Provincia in which he started fusing vallenato with rock,[4] pop and other Caribbean Colombian ethnic rhythms. This fusion scandalized vallenato purists. Clásicos de la Provincia, won the Billboard Latin Music Awards Best Album, introducing vallenato to both Colombia and the rest of the world.[citation needed]

The follow-up album, La Tierra del Olvido would mark a further step in Vives' desire to fusion rock, funk and pop music with traditional Colombian genres. The album gave Vives classic hits such as the title track, and the up-tempo opening track Pa' Mayte.

His subsequent releases, Tengo Fé (1997), El Amor de Mi Tierra (1999), Déjame Entrar (2001) and El Rock de Mi Pueblo (2004), were all commercially successful and were well received by critics. In 2002 Carlos Vives' album "Déjame Entrar" won him his first Grammy award for Best Traditional Tropical Latin Album.[citation needed]

In 2009 he released the album Clásicos de la Provincia II, which was sold exclusively in Colombian supermarket chain "Almacenes Éxito." The album saw Vives' return to covering vallenato songs in his own style.[citation needed]

Carlos Vives interviewed by Ana María Canseco


With more than 40 songs written in 2012, Corazon Profundo was released in April 2013 and featured 11 tracks. The first single, "Volví a Nacer", was released in September 2012 and went straight to No. 1 on Billboard.[clarification needed] The second single, "Como Le Gusta a Tu Cuerpo" featuring Michel Teló was released in late January 2013. Carlos appeared with fellow artists Ricardo Montaner, Fanny Lu, and Andrés Cepeda as one of the coaches for the first season of the vocal competition series phenomenon The Voice Colombia, which premiered October 2012 via Colombian TV network Caracol TV.[citation needed]

On 27 May 2016, "La Bicicleta" with fellow Colombian singer Shakira was released as a single. The video for the song was filmed in Colombia in each of their home cities.[6] The song debuted at the number one spot on Billboard's US Latin Airplay chart and number four on the US Hot Latin Songs chart.

On 13 September 2018, Telemundo announced Carlos Vives as the fourth coach of La Voz (U.S.).[7] Vives joined Luis Fonsi, Alejandra Guzman and Wisin as coaches on the Spanish-language version of NBC singing-competition The Voice.[8]

In 2020, he joined Diego Torres, Lali, Coti, Ángela Torres, Thalía, Camila's Mario Domm, Sin Bandera's Leonel García, Reik's Jesús Navarro, Río Roma, Carlos Rivera, Camilo, Fonseca, Manuel Turizo, Jorge Villamizar, Pedro Capó, Farruko, Kany García and Rauw Alejandro, Ivete Sangalo, Dilsinho, Rubén Blades, Gente de Zona, Mau y Ricky, El Cigala, Dani Martín, Leslie Grace, Nicky Jam, Ara Malikian and Prince Royce for 'Color Esperanza 2020', a version of Diego Torres' Color Esperanza.

In April 2021, Vives joined Ricky Martin for "Canción Bonita", a song which was critically acclaimed for its fusion of musical styles from Colombia and Puerto Rico. The song was nominated for Song of the Year and Best Pop Song at the 2021 Latin Grammy Awards.

In November 2021, he was a featured artist in the Disney movie 'Encanto' singing the credits song 'Colombia, Mi Encanto' written by Lin-Manuel Miranda.[9]

In 2023, Vives appeared in the Disney+ show 'The Low Tone Club' and sang the theme 'Tumbando Muros' and two other songs for the show. In addition, Vives wrote all songs included on the show's soundtrack.

Personal life[edit]

Vives was married to the Colombian actress Margarita Rosa de Francisco in a relationship that was closely followed by the national media. Puerto Rican Herlinda Gómez was his second wife, with whom he had two children: Carlos Enrique Vives and Lucía Vives.[10] He is now married to former Miss Colombia Claudia Elena Vásquez and they have two children:[4] Elena Vives, and Pedro Vives. He divides his time between Miami and Colombia, mainly Santa Marta and Bogotá.[4]



  • 1982 Tiempo Sin Huella (Julián).
  • 1982 David Copperfield (David Copperfield "Adult").
  • 1983 Pequeños gigantes (Guineo).
  • 1984 El Faraón (Capitolino Rojas).
  • 1985 Tuyo es mi corazón (Carlos Sánchez).
  • 1986 Gallito Ramírez (Javier "Gallito" Ramírez).
  • 1987 Tormento (César Augusto Caballero).
  • 1988 La Otra (Arnaldo Vásquez).
  • 1989 La Conciencia de Lucía (Alberto).
  • 1989 LP loca pasión (Julio Sanmiguel "Sammy").
  • 1990 Aventurera (Juan Carlos Santander).
  • 1991 Escalona (Rafael Escalona).
  • 1991 Cadena Braga (José Antonio).
  • 1992 La mujer doble (Mateo Escondria).
  • 1992–1993 La estrategia del caracol (José Antonio Samper Pupo).
  • 1995 La Tele.
  • 2012 La Voz Colombia (Coach).
  • 2019 La Voz (Coach).
  • 2021 Encanto (Colombia, Mi Encanto)
  • 2023 The Low Tone Club - El Club de los Graves (Amaranto Molina)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Billboard Latin Music Awards[edit]

Year Category Nominated work Result
2017 Latin Pop Songs Artist of the Year, Solo Himself Nominated
Hot Latin Song of the Year "La Bicicleta" (feat Shakira) Nominated
Vocal Event Nominated
Airplay Song of the Year Nominated
Digital Song of the Year Nominated
Latin Pop Song of the Year Nominated
2018 Tropical Album of the Year Vives Nominated
2019 Tropical Song of the Year "Hoy Tengo Tiempo (Pinta Sensual)" Nominated
Tropical Artist of the Year Himself Nominated
2020 Hall of Fame Inducted
2021 Tropical Artist of the Year Nominated

Grammy Awards[edit]

Vives has won two awards out of seven Grammy Award nominations.

Year Category Nominated work Result
2000 Best Traditional Tropical Latin Performance El Amor de Mi Tierra Nominated
2002 Best Traditional Tropical Latin Album Déjame Entrar Won
2005 Best Latin Pop Album El Rock de Mi Pueblo Nominated
2014 Best Tropical Latin Album Corazón Profundo Nominated
2015 Best Tropical Latin Album Más + Corazón Profundo Won
2019 Best Latin Pop Album Vives Nominated
2023 Best Tropical Latin Album Cumbiana II Nominated
2024 Best Tropical Latin Album Escalona Nunca Se Había Grabado Así Nominated

Latin Grammy Awards[edit]

A Latin Grammy Award is awarded by the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. Carlos Vives has won 16 awards from 43 nominations.

Year Category Nominated work Result
2000 Album of the Year El Amor de Mi Tierra Nominated
Best Traditional Tropical Album Nominated
Record Of the Year "Fruta Fresca" Nominated
Song of the Year Nominated
Best Male Pop Vocal Performance Nominated
Best Tropical Song Nominated
2002 Album of the Year Déjame Entrar Nominated
Best Contemporary Tropical Album Won
Record of the Year "Déjame Entrar" Nominated
Song of the Year Nominated
Best Tropical Song Won
Best Short Form Music Video Nominated
2005 Best Contemporary Tropical Album El Rock de Mi Pueblo Won
Best Tropical Song "Como Tú" Nominated
2009 Best Latin Children's Album Pombo Musical (Varios Artistas) Won
2013 Album of the Year Corazón Profundo Nominated
Best Tropical Fusion Album Won
Record of the Year "Volví a Nacer" Nominated
Song of the Year Won
Best Tropical Song Won
2014 Album of the Year Más Corazón Profundo Nominated
Best Contemporary Tropical Album Won
"Record of the Year" "El Mar de Sus Ojos" Nominated
"Cuando Nos Volvamos a Encontrar" Nominated
Song of the Year Nominated
Best Tropical Song Won
2016 Record of the Year "La Bicicleta" (with Shakira) Won
Song of the Year Won
2018 Song of the Year "Robarte un Beso" Nominated
Best Contemporary Tropical Album Vives Won
2019 Best Long Form Music Video Déjame Quererte Nominated[11]
2020 Album of the Year Cumbiana Nominated
Best Contemporary Tropical Album Won
Song of the Year "For Sale" (with Alejandro Sanz) Nominated
Best Tropical Song "Canción para Rubén" (with Rubén Blades) Won
"Búscame" (with Kany García) Nominated
Best Long Form Music Video El Mundo Perdido de Cumbiana Nominated
2021[12] Song of the Year "Canción Bonita" (with Ricky Martin) Nominated
Best Pop Song Nominated
2022[13] Song of the Year "Baloncito Viejo" (with Camilo) Nominated
Record of the Year Nominated
Best Pop Song Nominated
Best Pop/Rock Song "Babel" (with Fito Páez) Won
Best Contemporary Tropical Album Cumbiana II Won
Best Tropical Song "El Parrandero (Masters en Parranda)" (with Sin Ánimo De Lucro, JBot & Tuti) Nominated
2023 Album of the Year Escalona Nunca Se Había Grabado Así Nominated
Best Cumbia/Vallenato Album Escalona Nunca Se Había Grabado Así Won

Premios Nuestra Tierra[edit]

A Premio Nuestra Tierra is an accolade that recognize outstanding achievement in the Colombian music industry. Carlos Vives has received 8 awards from 24 nominations.[14]

Year Category Nominated work Result
2014 Best Song of the Year "La Foto de los Dos" Won
Best Music Video Won
Best Mainstream Song Nominated
Best Tropical Pop Performance of the Year Nominated
Best Tropical Pop Performance of the Year "Bailar Contigo" Nominated
"Como Le Gusta a Tu Cuerpo" Nominated
Corazón Profundo Best Album of the Year Won
Best Tropical Pop Artist of the Year Himself Won
Best Mainstream Artist Nominated
Best Artist of the Year Won
Tweeter of the Year Nominated
2020 Best Tropical Artist Nominated
Audicence Favorite Artist Nominated
Best Tropical Song "Hasta Viejitos" (with Alejandro González) Nominated
Best Folk Song "Déjame Quererte" (with Cholo Valderrama, Cynthia Montaño, Elkin Robinson, Kombilesa Mi y Velo de Oza) Won
2021 Audicence Favorite Artist Himself Nominated
Best Folk Artist Won
Colombian Artist in the World Nominated
Album of the Year Cumbiana Nominated
Song of the Year "Cumbiana" Nominated
Best Folk Song Won
Audience Favorite Song Nominated
Best Tropical / Salsa / Cumbia Song
"Canción para Rubén" (with Rubén Blades) Nominated
Best Pop Song "For Sale" (with Alejandro Sanz) Nominated
Best Video "Cumbiana"

World Music Awards[edit]

The World Music Awards is an international awards show founded in 1989 that annually honors recording artists based on worldwide sales figures provided by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

Year Category Nominated work Result
2013 World's Best Album Corazón Profundo Nominated
World's Best Male Artists Carlos Vives Nominated
World's Best Live Act Nominated

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Arias-Polo, Arturo (19 May 2020). "Carlos Vives, 'la música colombiana me ha permitido conectar con el pasado'". El Nuevo Herald (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 6 June 2020. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  2. ^ "Greatest of All Time Latin Artists". Billboard.
  3. ^ "Top Latin Artists". Billboard.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g biografí, .
  5. ^, .
  6. ^ "Shakira and Carlos Vives film new video for "La Bicicleta"". Latin Times. 22 May 2016. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  7. ^ AP (13 September 2018). "Carlos Vives se une como "coach" a "La Voz" de Telemundo". Periódico El Caribe - Mereces verdaderas respuestas (in European Spanish). Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  8. ^ "'La Voz' Will Come to Telemundo In 2019". Billboard. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  9. ^ Magazine, Smithsonian; Salama, Jordan. "Celebrating the Viral 'Encanto' Soundtrack's Colombian Roots". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 8 February 2023.
  10. ^ lafiscalí Archived 8 November 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ Cabo, Leila (14 November 2019). "Latin Grammys 2019 Winners: Complete List". Billboard. MRC. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  12. ^ "Los 2021 Latin Grammys Nominees Announced: See The Complete List". Grammy Awards. 28 September 2021. Archived from the original on 28 September 2021. Retrieved 28 September 2021.
  13. ^ "23rd Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards Final Nominations" (PDF). The Latin Recording Academy. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 September 2022. Retrieved 20 September 2022.
  14. ^ Premios Nuestra Tierra received to Carlos Vives:

External links[edit]