The career of this brilliant Panamanian singer, composer, producer and arranger took off in October 1981, when he was still a teenager. He started off in a salsa band called, Inmensidad, which played in the Miami area. Success has always paved the way in Robert Blades' career. Months after his debut in 1981, his band was approached by the Fania All Stars Label, which asked them to open for one of their bands. DUring this tour the president of Fania Records noticed the potential the young singer possessed, and immediately offered him a contract. Roberto Blades remained under the Fania All Stars Label for 10 years. These years would result in artistic growth of the rising star and nonstop tours around the world. Not to mention the various songs he wrote during this period which have become classics in the salsa world, such as the well known hit, "Lagrimas."
The next career move for Roberto would be in 1992 when he became a writer/producer for Emilio Estefan Enterprises, which he is still a part of. This has given him the opportunity to work with various Latin icons such as: Gloria Estefan, Jon Secada, Alejandro Fernandez, Thalia and Soledad. In 1997 Robert signed with EMI Latin. Under this label, he released his first solo album, "A Buena Hora." His first single, "Si Estuvieras Conmigo," became an immediate hit, which is still frequently played on the radio. In 1998, the salsa singer experienced a cross-over into the English speaking market when he was asked to participate in the soundtrack "Z", which was derived from the musical, "Zorro." The soundtrack features a due with the well known pop artist, Debbie Gison, and is titled, "Now That I Have You." This project proved to be a challenge for the salsa singer who wasn't accustomed to the theatrical demands on his voice. He proved that no challenge was too big, however, by conqurieng each song with a Latin feel and with the refinement of an experienced singer, as can be seen in the song, "Ivory Tower."
Not only is Robert currently part of the Emilio Estefan crew, but he is also working on his new album, "Nada Bonito (Nothing Pretty)," which he hopes to release by the middle of this year. Roberto Blades has come a long way since his days as a teenager. He has made a name for himself, and unlike other stars that have come and gone, he remains in the spotlight. His dedication, love for a challenge, charisma and talented voice have contributed to his survival in the world of stardom. With a plethora of talents and ideas up his sleeve, the musical influence of Roberto Blades will be with us for years to come.
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