Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Enrique Iglesias - Biography

Enrique Iglesias has been with Anna Kournikova since 2001

Enrique Iglesias performs on stage during the MTV EMA's 2014 at The Hydro on November 9, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.  (Photo by Samir Hussein/Getty Images for MTV)
Faye James
Senior Editor
Updated: May 2, 2024
Share this:

Enrique Iglesias, son of the best-selling singer of all time, started to give his father a run for his money when he notched up sales of over 25 million in seven years and scored a Grammy for Best Latin Performer. 

Early life

Born in Madrid on May 8, 1975, to internationally renowned balladeer Julio Iglesias and Filipina model turned journalist Isabel Preysler, Enrique Iglesias Preysler moved to Miami to live with his father after Basque terrorists kidnapped the singer's grandfather and demanded a ransom. "He was rescued unharmed," says Enrique, "But suddenly it got a little dangerous." 

In the US the young Enrique was left in the charge of the family nanny, who effectively raised him while his globe-trotting father was away on tour. Julio's lengthy absences meant he had little inkling of his son's burgeoning musical talent. 

At 13 Enrique was already indulging his passion for music by keeping a "secret diary" of songs and by 15 he was playing in secret with two older musicians - one of whom, Robert Morales, would collaborate on Enrique's platinum-selling first album, which was dedicated to his nanny. His transition from beach hunk, watersports and hanging out on Hawaiian beaches were favourite occupations, to budding star came when he plucked up the courage to ask one of his father's ex-managers to go along and see him play. 

Worldwide fame

The former Iglesias staff-member was stunned by the young man's dedication and stubborn insistence that he wouldn't use the family name until he landed a recording contract. Portraying himself as Enrique Martinez, a little-known singer from Central America, the fledgling pop star signed to the Mexican label Fonovista and dropped out of his Miami University business course. 

When his son informed him that he had been awarded a contract, Julio was presented with a fait accompli. 

The older singer was less than impressed with his offspring's news, however, and concerned about the vagaries of the music industry and what he saw as its innate dishonesty tried to prevent his son performing. But Julio's attitude only spurred the teenager to greater efforts. In some ways it was a predictable response Enrique's determination and formidable work ethic are well documented. 

"I'm never satisfied," he says. "Sometimes I should sit around and stop and look around and enjoy." 

That is an unlikely scenario, however, especially with Hollywood beckoning he secured a role as a gunfighter opposite Salma Hayek, Johnny Depp and Antonio Banderas in 2003's Once Upon a Time in Mexico

Enrique became a sex symbol and took America by a storm in the noughties, as he performed at the Super Bowl XXXIV halftime show with Christina Aguilera, Phil Collins and Toni Braxton. At the peak of his fame, the singer's songs would chart at number one, and he'd feature in commercials with Beyoncé, Britney Spears, and P!NK for Pepsi.

Personal life

As Enrique makes waves in film and music, his personal life has also been making headlines. The heart-throb has been linked to tennis star Anna Kournikova since 2001, who co-starred in the steamy video for his hit single "Escape". The couple share three children together.

More Profiles

See more