Jon Secada

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Jon Secada
Secada in 2017
Juan Francisco Secada Ramírez

(1961-10-04) October 4, 1961 (age 62)
EducationUniversity of Miami
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
Years active1991–present
Jo Pat Cafro
(m. 1988; div. 1993)
Maritere Vilar
(m. 1997)
Musical career
OriginMiami, Florida, U.S.
EMI Edit this at Wikidata

Juan Francisco Secada Ramírez (born October 4, 1961), better known as Jon Secada, is a Cuban-born American[1][2] singer. He has won two Grammy Awards and sold 15 million records,[3] making him one of the best-selling Latin music artists. His music fuses funk, soul music, pop, and Latin percussion.

Secada has written songs for Gloria Estefan, Ricky Martin, and Jennifer Lopez. He has toured with Luciano Pavarotti and recorded duets with Jim Brickman, Olivia Newton-John, and Frank Sinatra.

Secada has performed several times at A Capitol Fourth, an annual Independence Day concert from the United States Capitol televised by PBS.[4]

Early life[edit]

Secada was born in 1961 in Havana, Cuba.[2] Secada's father, José, was incarcerated for 3 years as a political prisoner to the communist Cuban government. In 1971, the Secadas received permission to emigrate and moved to Miami.[5] His parents opened a coffee shop.[6] Secada was raised in Hialeah, Florida.


In 1979, Secada graduated from Hialeah Senior High School in Hialeah, Florida.[7] During his performance of A Christmas Carol in 11th grade, he says he realized his musical potential and was encouraged by teachers to pursue music as a career.[2]

After graduating from high school, Secada attended the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, where he received a Bachelor of Music in 1983 and a Master of Music in jazz vocal performance in 1986.[8] He graduated cum-laude and was later inducted into the Iron Arrow Honor Society, the highest honor bestowed by the University of Miami.[9]


From 1986 to 1991, Secada was a teacher at Miami Dade College.[10]

In 1986, Secada's University of Miami acquaintances introduced him to Emilio Estefan, a musician in Miami Sound Machine and husband of Gloria Estefan.[1] Estefan listened to one of Secada's demos and then became Secada's mentor and manager.[2][11] This led to Secada becoming a backup singer for Miami Sound Machine.[6]

In 1991, Secada co-wrote and was a backup singer for "Coming Out of the Dark," a number-one hit song inspired by a tour-bus accident involving Gloria Estefan in 1990, in which her back was broken.[12] In 1992, he released his self-titled debut album, which sold 7 million copies.[6] In 1994, he performed a duet with Frank Sinatra, a re-recording of "The Best Is Yet to Come," released on Sinatra's album Duets II. He also performed at the awards for Miss Venezuela 1994. In 1995, he performed on Broadway in Grease,[6] and he also presented at the 49th Tony Awards. He also recorded "If I Never Knew You", a duet with Shanice for Pocahontas. In 1999, he co-wrote and co-produced "She's All I Ever Had" for Ricky Martin.[citation needed]

In 2003, he performed in Cabaret.[6] He also co-wrote "Juramento" for Ricky Martin. From 2006 to 2009 Secada was a judge on Latin American Idol for its entire four-season run.[citation needed] In 2007, he co-wrote three songs, and performed in one, on Lilian Garcia's album ¡Quiero Vivir!.[citation needed]

In 2017, he released a tribute album with cover versions of songs by Benny Moré.[13]

Personal life[edit]

From 1988 to 1993, Secada was married to Jo Pat Cafro. In May 1995, he started dating Maritere Vilar. They were married in February 1997[14] and have two children.

Secada resides in a 7,284 square-foot house, with a tennis court and pool, a few blocks west of the University of Miami, his alma mater, in Coral Gables, Florida.[15]

Secada has created the Jon Secada Music Scholarship at the University of Miami, raised funds for The Recording Academy's effort "Keeping Music in Schools," and supports many initiatives including the Pediatric AIDS Unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.[16]


  • 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]

Award Year Nominee(s) Category Result Ref.
ASCAP Latin Music Awards 2000 "Bella" Most Performed Song Won [17]
ASCAP Pop Music Awards 1992 "Coming Out of the Dark" Most Performed Songs Won [18]
1994 "Angel" Won [19]
"Do You Believe in Us" Won
"Just Another Day" Won
1995 "I'm Free" Won [20]
BMI Latin Awards 1993 "Otro Día Más Sin Verte" Song of the Year Won [21]
2001 "Bella" Award-Winning Song Won [22]
BMI Pop Awards 1994 "Just Another Day" Award-Winning Songs Won [23]
"Do You Believe in Us" Won
"Angel" Won
"I'm Free" Won
1996 "Mental Picture" Won [24]
"If You Go" Won
1998 "Too Late Too Soon" Won [25]
2001 "She's All I Ever Had" Won
Billboard Music Awards 1993 Himself Top Adult Contemporary Artist Won [26]
Billboard Latin Music Awards 2001 "Así" Latin Dance Club Play Track Nominated [27]
Grammy Awards 1993 Himself Best New Artist Nominated [28]
Otro Día Más Sin Verte Best Latin Pop Album Won
1996 Amor Best Latin Pop Performance Won
Latin Grammy Awards 2017 To Beny Moré With Love Best Traditional Tropical Album Won [25]
Lo Nuestro Awards 1993 Himself Male Artist of the Year, Pop Won [29]
New Pop Artist of the Year Won
Jon Secada Pop Album of the Year Won
"Angel" Pop Song of the Year Nominated
"Otro Día Más Sin Verte" Video of the Year Nominated
1994 Himself Male Artist of the Year, Pop Nominated
1995 "Si Te Vas" Video of the Year Nominated
Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
1993 BMI Awards Most Performed Latin Song "Otro Día Más Sin Verte",

"Sentir", and "Cree en Nuestra Amor" (Do You Believe in Us)

The World Music Awards Best-Selling Latin American Recording Artist Himself Won
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 style="background: #9EFF9E; color: #000; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="yes table-yes2 notheme"|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
Rolling Stone Magazine Best Male Vocalist Won
1994 Asian Music Awards Best Pop Song "Mental Picture" Won
1998 BMI Pop Awards Best Latin Song "Amandolo"

Television series[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Walker, Michael (June 12, 1994). "POP MUSIC: Mr. Melting Pot: Using his Latino and African American heritage as a springboard to multicultural music, singer Jon Secada is realizing his crossover dreams while promoting integration 'because that's what America is about'". Los Angeles Times.
  2. ^ a b c d "JON SECADA SEES SUCCESS FROM ALL SIDES". Orlando Sentinel. April 7, 1995.
  3. ^ "Vuelve Jon Secada a los escenarios". El Universal (in Spanish). Mexico. September 11, 2002. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  4. ^ [ "Music fills the air to celebrate America's birthday," Chicago Tribune, June 29, 1997
  5. ^ Capretto, Lisa (January 31, 2017). "Latin Superstar From The '90s Shares His Powerful Immigrant Story". HuffPost.
  6. ^ a b c d e "A little of everything: Since days with Sound Machine, Jon Secada has built a diverse career". Las Vegas Sun. September 16, 2005.
  7. ^ BENN, EVAN (July 31, 2018). "Grammy winner Jon Secada goes back to Hialeah with INDULGE". The Miami Herald.
  8. ^ "Jon Secada, B.M. '83, MM '86". Frost School of Music. Archived from the original on May 27, 2019. Retrieved May 27, 2019.
  9. ^ "Jon Secada: Bio". Jon Secada.
  10. ^ "Learning the ropes with Professor Secada". Miami Dade College. May 2009.
  12. ^ "Jon Secada blends careers and a cause". Orange County Register. March 21, 2006.
  13. ^ Flores, Griselda (February 1, 2017). "Listen to Jon Secada's New Single 'Como Fue,' Feat. Beny More: Exclusive Premiere". Billboard.
  14. ^ "True Amor". People. March 10, 1997.
  15. ^ Vogel, Mike (March 25, 2015). "Where celebrities live in Florida". Florida Trend.
  16. ^ Wedekindt, David (September 7, 2005). "Evening with the Stars: Jon Secada, Scott Celani". University of Buffalo.
  17. ^ Pesselnick, Jill (May 20, 2000). "Pérez Honored at 8th El Premio ASCAP Gala". Billboard. Vol. 112, no. 21. Nielsen Company. p. 123. Retrieved May 5, 2012.
  18. ^ "Billboard" (PDF). May 30, 1992. p. 16. Retrieved October 21, 2021.
  19. ^ "Billboard". May 21, 1994. p. 11.
  20. ^ "Billboard". May 27, 1995. p. 8.
  21. ^ "Gloria Estefan to be Named BMI Icon at 16th Annual Latin Awards Ceremony". January 27, 2009.
  22. ^ "BMI Honors Top Latin Songwriters and Publishers at 8th Annual Awards Ceremony". April 20, 2001.
  23. ^ "Billboard". July 16, 1994. p. 15.
  24. ^ "Billboard". June 1996. p. 103.
  25. ^ a b "Discography & Awards". Retrieved October 21, 2021.
  26. ^ "Winners Database".
  27. ^ "Billboard". December 15, 1958.
  28. ^ "Jon Secada". November 23, 2020.
  29. ^ "Billboard". March 13, 1993. p. 10.

External links[edit]