Willy Chirino

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Willy Chirino
Birth nameWilfredo José Chirino
Born (1947-04-05) April 5, 1947 (age 72)
Consolación del Sur, Pinar del Río Province, Cuba
GenresLatin, Salsa, Merengue
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, Record Producer
Years active1974–present
LabelsSony Music, Latinum Music

Willy Chirino (born April 5, 1947 in Consolación del Sur, Pinar del Río, Cuba) is a Cuban-American musician.

Early life[edit]

After the Cuban Revolution in 1950s, many Cubans fled to the United States. Some thought it was a temporary measure and hoped to return soon afterwards, but when it became apparent that the revolution was going to continue, more Cubans left the island. In 1960, Willy Chirino came to the United States via "Operation Peter Pan", designed to get Cuban children out of the country due to, among other things, fears that the government would take them from their parents. This US government sponsored program, in conjunction with the Catholic Welfare Bureau, sent approximately 14,000 Cuban children to the United States and placed them in foster homes until their parents could leave the island. Chirino would later record "Nuestro Día Ya Viene Llegando" ("Our Day is Coming"), a song loosely based on his experiences as a refugee which has become an anthem for Cuban exiles everywhere.[citation needed]


Chirino began his artistic career in Miami, releasing his first album in 1974. Since then, he has recorded over 20 albums, several of which have attained platinum and gold status. In 2006, his album "Son del Alma", won a Grammy for Best Salsa/Merengue Album. As founder of the Willy Chirino Foundation, his philanthropic efforts have been recognized by UNICEF and the Department of State. He celebrated his 35th anniversary in music with his latest released album "Willy Chirino Live-35th Anniversary" ("Willy Chirino En Vivo-35 Aniversario"), a CD/DVD combo of the concert. This album brought him his first nomination for Best Salsa Album at the 2007 Latin Grammy Awards. Most recently, Chirino and his wife, singer/song writer Lissette Álvarez, released their first album together, Amarraditos (Bound to One Another). The CD includes a potpourri of classic Spanish-language love songs. Chirino's album, "Pa'lante", was released at spring 2008, after which he launched a world tour. In 2011, when asked of how his recordings of My Beatles Heart, he said that Sony scrutinized every single one of his songs and their versions because they consider the songs by The Beatles as one of their most precious treasures, and wanted to make sure they were being used in a rightful manner.

In 2014, Chirino received a Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in Las Vegas for his music career.[1]

Personal life[edit]

His first marriage was to Olga Maria Rodriguez and bore three daughters: Angie, Olga Maria and Jessica. He later married Lissette Álvarez and had three more children: Nicolle, Alana, and Gianfranco. He has three grandchildren, Elis Regina, Andres and Dashiel. He and his wife support the Cuban dissident movement, Yo No Coopero Con La Dictadura (I Don't Cooperate with the Dictatorship).[citation needed]


  • 1974: One Man Alone
  • 1975: Chirino
  • 1976: Chirino 3
  • 1977: ¿Quién Salvó la Ciudad?
  • 1978: Evolución
  • 1979: Come Into My Music
  • 1980: Diferente
  • 1981: La Salsa y Yo
  • 1982: Chirinísimo
  • 1983: Subiendo
  • 1985: 14 Éxitos
  • 1985: Zarabanda
  • 1988: Amándote
  • 1989: Lo que Está Pa' Ti
  • 1990: Acuarela del Caribe
  • 1991: Oxígeno
  • 1992: Un Tipo Típico y Sus Éxitos
  • 1992: Mis Primeros Éxitos
  • 1993: South Beach
  • 1994: Oro Salsero: 20 Éxitos
  • 1994: Brillantes
  • 1995: Asere
  • 1996: Antología Tropical
  • 1997: Baila Conmigo
  • 1997: Oro Salsero: 10 Éxitos Vol. 1
  • 1998: Oro Salsero: 10 Éxitos Vol. 2
  • 1998: Cuba Libre
  • 1999: 20th Anniversary
  • 2000: Greatest Hits
  • 2000: Soy
  • 2001: Afro-Disiac
  • 2002: 15 Éxitos
  • 2003: Serie Azul Tropical
  • 2004: Son del Alma
  • 2005: Cubanísimo
  • 2005: 20 Éxitos Originales
  • 2006: En Vivo: 35° Aniversario
  • 2007: Amarraditos
  • 2007: Lo Esencial
  • 2007: Tesoros de Colección
  • 2008: Pa' Lante
  • 2008: Grandes Éxitos en Vivo
  • 2011: My Beatles Heart
  • 2011: Mis Favoritas
  • 2012: Llegó la Navidad
  • 2013: Soy... I Am: Mis Canciones - My Songs
  • 2014: Serie Platino
  • 2018: Navidad en Familia


  1. ^ "Willy Chirino receives award of a lifetime at the Latin GRAMMYs". Retrieved 2015-01-30.

External links[edit]