Wilfrido Vargas

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Wilfrido Vargas
Wilfrido Vargas.jpg
Wilfrido Vargas in 2008
Background information
Birth name Wilfrido Radamés Vargas Martínez
Born (1949-04-24) April 24, 1949 (age 67)
Altamira, Dominican
Genres Merengue
Occupation(s) Singer, musician, songwriter, composer, arranger, trumpeter, actor
Instruments Vocals, Trumpet
Years active 1972–present
Labels Karen, Sonotone, Rodven, RCA Intl, Sony BMG
Associated acts Johnny Ventura, Fania All-Stars, Denny Dias, Las Chicas del Can

Wilfrido Radamés Vargas Martínez[1] (Spanish pronunciation: [wilˈfɾiðo ˈβaɾɣas]; born April 24, 1949 in Altamira, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic) is a bandleader, trumpeter, vocalist, arranger, composer and producer who was instrumental in making the merengue style a worldwide phenomenon.[2]

He was surrounded by musical influences; namely, his father Ramón, an accordionist and guitarist, and his mother Bienvenida, a flute player and guitarist.[3] Vargas began his musical studies early, attending the Municipal Academy of Music beginning at age 10.[4]

He has been a trumpeter and a vocalist,[5] but has also arranged, composed, and led his band, and is also a producer.[4]



He began his career with the band Wilfrido Vargas y sus Beduinos by recording his first album in 1972.[6]

Alongside many Latin music super stars, he performed during the 1979 music festival Havana Jam.[7]


During the 1980s he had international commercial success with songs such as "El Barbarazo", "El Jardinero", "La Medicina", and "El Loco y La Luna".

Wilfrido appeared in the 1989 film "Que viva el merengue y la lambada".[8]


He was nominated in 1991 for the 33rd Grammy Awards in the Best Tropical Latin Performance for his album Animation.[3] He won a "Gaviota de Plata" (Silver Seagull) in the 1992 Viña del Mar International Song Festival.[9] In 1993, he was decorated by the Dominican president Joaquín Balaguer with the Order of Christopher Columbus in the Knight grade, alongside fellow Dominican musicians Jorge Taveras, Manuel Tejada and Julio Gautreaux for their contribution to the development and dissemination of the national music.[10]

For the telenovela Bellísima, Wilfrido performed the theme song, "Amor Casual" and also performed the song "Que Será" for the 1997 film Out to Sea.[11]


In 2003 he acted in the drama film "Exito por intercambio".[12][13]

Vargas participated in 2007 at the Colombian version of The X Factor, as the groups mentor.[14]

Today Vargas is one of the best-known artists in Latin America with hit songs such as "El Africano" (written by Calixto Ochoa[15]), "Abusadora", "Comején", "A Mover la Colita", "El Baile del Perrito" and "Volveré".

As of 2010, he lives in Colombia.[16]


Title Year Chart[4]
Tropical Songs
Abusadora 1981 -
Wilfrido Vargas & Sandy Reyes 1982 -
El Funcionario 1983 -
El Jardinero 1984 3
El Africano 1984 -
La Medicina 1985 2
Vida, Canción y Suerte 1986 17
La Música 1987 4
El Baile 1987 2
Más Que Un Loco 1988 9
Animation 1989 9
Éxitos de 1990 9
Siempre Wilfrido 1990 5
Amor Casual 1991 -
Itinerario 1992 5
Usted Se Queda Aquí 1994 -
El Extraterrestre 1995 -
Wilfrido Vargas y Sus Consentidas 1996 -
Hoy 1997 -
Raíces 1998 -
www.wilfrido-vargas.com 2000 -
Dos Generaciones 2002 -
El Único 2002 -
Albums that did not chart are denoted with an "—".

Grammy Nomination[edit]


Year Film Role
1989 Que Viva el Merengue y la Lambada Himself
2003 Éxito Por Intercambio Himself


  1. ^ Billboard. "Wilfrido Vargas". Retrieved September 11, 2010. 
  2. ^ eldiario.ec. "Wilfrido Vargas llega a la fiesta del merengue" (in Spanish). Retrieved September 11, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Batanga Media Networks. "Wilfrido Vargas Biografía" (in Spanish). Retrieved September 13, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c "Wilfrido Vargas Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved September 17, 2010. 
  5. ^ Aol Music. "Wilfrido Vargas Biography". Retrieved September 11, 2010. 
  6. ^ Proefrock, Stacia. "Biography: Wilfrido Vargas". Allmusic. Retrieved May 26, 2010. 
  7. ^ Nat Geo Music. "Wilfrido Vargas". Retrieved September 13, 2010. 
  8. ^ IMDB. "Wilfrido Vargas". Retrieved September 13, 2010. 
  9. ^ americasalsa.com. "Biografia de Wilfrido Vargas" (in Spanish). Retrieved September 11, 2010. 
  10. ^ Camara de Diputados de la Republica Dominicana. "Dec. No.314-93" (in Spanish). Retrieved September 13, 2010. 
  11. ^ IMDB. "Wilfrido Vargas". Retrieved September 13, 2010. 
  12. ^ Fundación del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano. "Éxito por intercambio" (in Spanish). Retrieved September 13, 2010. 
  13. ^ ahora.com.do. "Testigo ilegal, Perico ripiao y Exito por intercambio activan el cine dominicano" (in Spanish). Retrieved September 13, 2010. 
  14. ^ farandula.co. "Vuelve el Factor XS" (in Spanish). Retrieved September 13, 2010. 
  15. ^ Valledupar Noticias. ""Maestro Calixto, Colombia entera le agradece su obra": Presidente Santos" (in Spanish). Retrieved July 10, 2012. 
  16. ^ La Voz Libre. "El 'Waka Waka' de Shakira, libre de demandas" (in Spanish). Retrieved September 13, 2010.