What’s wrong with Julio Iglesias (80)? You don’t hear from him anymore, he doesn’t sing anymore. No more laughter, not even a smile, when millions of women were crazy about his dimples and his snow-white teeth. No more songs, no more “Hey!”, “Me Va, Me Va” or “Amor”. Julio Iglesias has fallen silent.

On the other hand, he really deserves retirement because he has been in show business since 1968, has sold over 300 million records and is one of the world’s most successful singers. You can put your feet up there. In addition, he could have been drawing a pension long ago, because on September 23rd he will be 80, an age at which “memory usually takes the place of hope,” as the writer Wilhelm Raabe (1831-1910) defined it.

Is it possible that he no longer remembers his old saying, with which he promised his audience several times: “I have decided to sing until I am 90”? He simply needs singing “to be able to continue living.” For him, live concerts are “an addiction for which there is no antidote.”

Instead, silence. He has been avoiding appearances for four years, and his last interview was even longer ago. He lives in seclusion in the Caribbean and sometimes posts old photos and videos of himself on Instagram – like an older gentleman reminiscing. There is also a report that he is working on his memoirs.

He has a lot to write about: stories from the life of a classic Latin lover, whom Julio Iglesias has embodied over the last 50 years. His artistic career did not begin at the bottom of the social milieu like many of his colleagues. Iglesias comes from a good family, his father Julio Iglesias Puga (1915-2005), a respected doctor, came from the northwestern Spanish province of Galicia, his mother’s family María del Rosario de la Cueva y Perignat (1919-2002) came from Puerto Rico, Cuba and Andalusia.

Originally, young Julio didn’t want to be a singer, but rather a footballer and then a diplomat. He studied law in Madrid and Cambridge (with a career in the Foreign Office) and, as an outstanding talent, was a goalkeeper in the Real Madrid junior team. A serious car accident ended his sports career in 1963. For two months the young man hovered between life and death, his lower spine was broken as well as both legs, he was partially paralyzed and spent two years in a rehabilitation clinic.

A doctor gave him a guitar so he could train the motor skills and dexterity of his hands. This is how he discovered his musical talent. After winning the Benidorm Song Festival in 1968, where he hobbled onto the stage on crutches, he dropped out of his law studies and devoted himself solely to a music career.

It was a breathtaking career. He recorded 29 albums, sang in 14 languages, including Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, French, English and German, but also Indonesian, Filipino and Mandarin, and gave around 5,000 concerts (including being the first Western star on Chinese television in 1988 with 300 million audience), worked with Frank Sinatra, Plácido Domingo, Dolly Parton, Diana Ross, the Beach Boys, Art Garfunkel, Sting, Stevie Wonder, the Pointer Sisters, Willie Nelson and Nana Mouskouri.

He completed two world tours, was made a “Knight of the French Legion of Honor”, received an entry in the Guinness Book of Records as the most successful Spanish-speaking singer, an American Music Award as the most popular Latino artist and a star on the famous Walk of Fame Hollywood.

In 1981 his father Dr. Julia Iglesias victim of son’s popularity. Basque ETA terrorists kidnapped the doctor, who was released after 19 days.

Since the late 1970s, Iglesias has lived mostly in Florida, the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic and on a luxury finca in Andalusia. His ranch in Argentina was threatened with foreclosure in 1996 because Julio refused to pay $51,300 in damages after losing a plagiarism case – he is said to have used a song by Argentinian Larry Moreno in his hit “Morriñas”.

The Latin lover Julio Iglesias, who is said to have had relationships with over 3,000 women, is the father of eight legitimate children, three with his first wife (1971-1979), the Filipino diplomat’s daughter Isabel Preysler (72), five with his second wife (since 2010), the Dutch ex-model Miranda Rijnsburger (57), who is 22 years younger. A nearly 30-year-old paternity lawsuit involving another son (with a Portuguese dancer) went to the Supreme Court in 2021 in favor of Julio Iglesias. His two eldest sons are both very successful in show business, especially Enrique Iglesias (48), who had a world career as a singer and composer.

In 2001, Julio Iglesias fulfilled his and his father’s heartfelt wish. He completed his law studies at the Complutense University in Madrid after a 33-year break and has since been admitted to the bar in Spain.

The real Julio is not always the bright, cheerful man. In an interview with “Bild am Sonntag” he admitted: “I used to have depression from time to time, but never so severe that I thought: I can’t stand myself, I have to kill myself. I’m a survivor.”

And he thoughtfully told “Spiegel” that he didn’t always feel what his songs were about. “I’ve been called a wonderful singer or a terrible singer. Above all, I was the heartthrob who loves young women and all that shit. I see myself as a long-term survivor of show business. It wasn’t easy to pull off.”

The criticism in his home country that he was just a crooner apparently bothered him. He himself once said that despite his huge success in Spain, he was considered only a “moderate artist” who “made up for his lack of talent with charm and glamour. A simple but nice Latin lover.”

This is probably why he announced his withdrawal from public life in 2011 at the ceremony for his honor by the Instituto Cervantes, the Spanish counterpart to the German Goethe Institute. According to “Mallorca Zeitung”, the “usually well-informed” writer and journalist Beatriz Cortázar recently told the radio station “EsRadio”: “He feels that his country does not love him as much as he loves his country.”

His Spanish fans are now hoping that Julio Iglesias will come home and be on stage at the inauguration of Real Madrid’s modernized stadium shortly before Christmas. Because Real is still the love of his life.