Jon Secada

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Jon Secada
Secada at a June 2, 2011 ceremony in
Union City, New Jersey, where he was honored with a star on the Walk of Fame at Celia Cruz Plaza.
Background information
Birth name Juan Francisco Secada Ramírez
Born (1962-10-04) October 4, 1962 (age 55)
Havana, Cuba
Origin Miami, Florida, U.S.
Genres Pop, Latin pop
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1984–present
Labels SBK, EMI

Jon Secada (born Juan Francisco Secada Ramírez; October 4, 1962) is a Cuban American singer and songwriter. Secada was born in Havana, Cuba, and raised in Hialeah, Florida. He has won three Grammy Awards and sold 20 million albums since his English-language debut album in 1992. His music fuses funk, soul, pop and Latin percussion. Secada also has worked as a songwriter for Ricky Martin, Jennifer López and Gloria Estefan.

Early life[edit]

Secada emigrated with his parents to the United States at age 12 after previously living in Spain; while he attended school, his family managed a coffee shop. As a teen, Secada discovered his gift for music. In the culturally-diverse city of Miami, Secada was exposed to salsa and merengue. Secada also became interested in rhythm and blues and pop music performed by Barry Manilow, Marvin Gaye, Billy Joel, Elton John, and Stevie Wonder.

Secada graduated from South Florida's Hialeah High School in 1979 and then enrolled at Miami Dade Community College, then transferring to the University of Miami. During college, he became an accomplished jazz musician and was inducted into the Iron Arrow Honor Society. He completed a bachelor's degree in Music and then earned a master's degree in Jazz Vocal Performance.


In the mid 1980s, Gloria Estefan hired Secada as a background singer. He also started composing music for Estefan, including some of her best-known ballads. Among other songs, Secada co-wrote and sang background on "Coming Out of the Dark", Gloria's number one hit from her 1991 album Into the Light. During Estefan's 'Into the Light World Tour', Secada was given the life-changing opportunity of taking over the stage and performing solo. The song was "Always Something" which would be featured later on his debut album. It launched his career as a solo performer.

In 2017 Secada won the Latin Grammy for his tribute album to Beny Moré, 'To Beny Moré With Love'.

In 1991, Secada legally changed his first name from Juan to Jon. The following year, Secada released his self-titled debut album Jon Secada (SBK/EMI), which sold over six million copies worldwide and was certified triple platinum in the U.S., where it reached No. 15 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

Secada scored a No. 5 Pop hit (and a No. 5 UK hit) with his Gold single "Just Another Day", and three more top 30 hits, "Angel" (No. 18 Pop, No. 23 UK), "I'm Free" (No. 27 Pop, No. 50 UK), "Do You Believe in Us?" (No. 13 Pop, No. 30 UK), and "Do You Really Want Me" (No. 30 UK) received national radio play. The Spanish-language version of Secada's solo album, Otro Día Más Sin Verte (EMI-Latin), became the No. 1 Latin album of 1992 and earned Secada his first Grammy Award for "Best Latin Pop Album".

In 1994, Secada's second album, Heart, Soul & a Voice (EMI) featured members of the Miami Sound Machine and guests Arturo Sandoval (trumpeter) and Betty Wright (background vocals). The album went Platinum in the US. One of its singles, "If You Go", was a top ten Pop hit and "Mental Picture", a Top 30 hit which was used in the soundtrack for the film The Specialist. His third album on EMI, Amor, was released in 1995 and earned Secada his second Grammy for "Best Latin Pop Performance". In the same year, Secada recorded If I Never Knew You the main love theme song for Walt Disney Pictures' Pocahontas. The song is a duet with American singer Shanice and both singers also performed the song in Spanish, titled "Si No Te Conociera". Jon Secada recorded a third version of the song, in Portuguese (Se Eu Não Te Encontrasse), along with Brazilian singer Daniela Mercury. Secada remains as the only singer who sang in three different languages for official releases of a Walt Disney Pictures song.

Secada co-wrote the song "Bella", the Spanish version of "She's All I Ever Had" for Ricky Martin's 1999 multi-platinum self-titled album. He also co-wrote and co-produced the song "Baila" for Jennifer Lopez, which appeared on her 1999 multi-platinum album, On the 6. He worked with teen singing sensation Mandy Moore on two of her tracks, "One Sided Love" and "It Only Took a Minute" from her self-titled multi-platinum album. In 2001, he was a backing vocalist on Enrique Iglesias's album Escape on the tracks "Don't Turn Off the Lights" and "Love 4 Fun".

Secada has performed with opera legend Luciano Pavarotti and recorded a duet with Frank Sinatra on "The Best is Yet to Come" from Sinatra's Duets II album.

In 1995, Secada starred in Broadway's hit musical Grease, playing the lead role of Danny Zuko. Broadway called upon Secada once again in 2003, where he played the emcee role in Sam Mendes' acclaimed version of Cabaret. In the fall of 2004, Secada also starred as 'Joseph' in Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's theatrical hit Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

On November 30, 2007, Secada participated in the Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade which was taped inside the Magic Kingdom at Disney World Orlando, Florida.

On June 3, 2011, the heavily Cuban-American community of Union City, New Jersey honored Secada with a star on the Walk of Fame at Celia Cruz Plaza.[1]

On October 27, 2012, Secada starred in the Broadway-style musical Loving the Silent Tears, which premiered in Los Angeles.[2][3]


Secada has been active with causes to help children, including education, AIDS research, and child abuse. He created the Jon Secada Music Scholarship at the University of Miami, his alma mater.[4]

He has raised funds for the Washington, D.C.-based national effort Keeping Music in Schools. He is a supporter of many initiatives, including the Pediatric AIDS Unit at Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital, the Lifebeat Concert to benefit AIDS, Amigos Together for Kids, Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Boys and Girls Club, among other charitable organizations.[5]

Secada has also raised funds for hurricane relief efforts. His song "The Last Goodbye" is a tribute to the families of the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. This song, along with three other versions, including an all-star version in Spanish with the participation of over 100 Hispanic artists around the world, was released as a single, with all proceeds going to the victims' families. Currently, the single has raised some $250,000 for victims' families.[5]

Secada raffled off an estate in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, worth $3 million, in 2010 to help keep the Mission of Saint Francis and the charities they support open for those in need.[6]

Secada was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on the President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. The committee is charged with creating a multi-year action plan aimed at closing the educational achievement gap between Hispanic students and their peers.[citation needed]


  • Jon Secada (1992)
  • Otro Día Más Sin Verte (1992)
  • Heart, Soul & a Voice (1994)
  • Si Te Vas (1994)
  • Amor (1995)
  • Secada (1997)
  • Better Part of Me (2000)
  • The Gift (2001)
  • Amanecer (2002)
  • Same Dream (2005)
  • A Christmas Fiesta/Una Fiesta Navideña (2007)
  • Expressions (2009)
  • Classics/Clasicos (2010)
  • Otra Vez (2011)
  • To Beny Moré With Love (2017)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
1992 Grammy Awards Best Latin Pop Album Jon Secada Won [7][8]
1992 Grammy Awards Best New Artist Nominee Himself Won
1993 BMI Awards Most Performed Latin Song "Otro Día Más Sin Verte",

"Sentir", and "Cree en Nuestra Amor"

Won [7]
The World Music Awards Best-Selling Latin American Recording Artist Himself Won [7][8]
The Caribbean Music Awards Best New Latin Pop Album Otro Día Más Sin Verte Won
Billboard Latin Music Awards Best Latin-Pop Album of the Year Won
Best Latin-Pop Artist Himself
Best New Latin-Pop Artist of the Year
Hit Radio Awards (Hong Kong) Best Male Artist of the Year Won [7]
Rolling Stone Magazine Best Male Vocalist Won [8]
1994 Asian Music Awards Best Pop Song "Mental Picture" Won
1996 Grammy Awards Best Latin Pop Album Amor Won
1998 BMI Pop Awards Best Pop Song "Too Late, Too Soon" Won
Best Latin Song "Amandolo"
2001 Billboard Latin Music Awards Best Dance Song "Asi" Nominated
BMI Pop Awards Best Pop Songwriter "Bella" Won
BMI Latin Awards Best Latin Songwriter "Bella" Won


  1. ^ Sanabria, Santo (12 June 2011). "Latinos honored in Union City". The Union City Reporter. p. 1. Retrieved 2014-05-29. 
  2. ^ "Liz Callaway, Debbie Gravitte, Jon Secada and More Set for LOVING THE SILENT TEARS in LA, 10/27". Broadway 8 August 2012. Retrieved 2014-05-29. 
  3. ^ "Loving the Silent Tears". Archived from the original on 2012-09-26. Retrieved 2014-05-29. 
  4. ^ "Jon Secada interviewed on Brazilian television show at University of Miami Frost School of Music" (Press release). University of Miami, Frost School of Music. 28 January 2011. Retrieved 2014-05-29. 
  5. ^ a b "Jon Secada: Charity Work & Causes". Look to the Stars. Retrieved 2018-09-21. 
  6. ^ "Grammy Award Winning Jon Secada is Giving Away a Waterfront Estate". PRWeb. Retrieved 2018-09-21. 
  7. ^ a b c d Chavez Candelaria, Cordelia (2004). Encyclopedia of Latino Popular Culture (M-Z). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. p. 749. ISBN 0-313-32215-5. 
  8. ^ a b c "Awards & Honors - Jon Secada". Jon Secada. Retrieved 2018-09-14. 

External links[edit]