Over the course of only the first three albums of his career, Colombian songwriter/guitarist Juanes has become the top-selling and most critically acclaimed Latin Rock artist in the world and has received numerous awards and honors including 12 Latin Grammy Awards, 9 MTV Awards, 8 Premio Lo Nuestro Awards, 7 BMI Awards for songwriting (including “Songwriter of the Year” and recognition from Time Magazine as “One of the 100 Most Influential People In the World.”
This coming Wednesday, July 19th, that list will grow once again as the nation of France will recognize Juanes as a Knight Of The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters). On the morning following Juanes’ latest concert in Paris, Minister of Culture Renaud Donneidieu de Vabres will present France’s highest artistic honor to the Colombian rocker who has been widely recognized as his country’s leading cultural ambassador and social activist.
As he always has, Juanes remained humbled and honored by news of the recognition, saying: “I'm greatly surprised by this award that I consider undeserved. I'm not more than a musician that enjoys what he does and a Colombian that dreams and fights for peace in his country."
Juanes is currently in the midst of a 21-city run of sold-out large venue concerts in Europe. These dates mark the conclusion of the nearly two-year promotional run for Juanes’ internationally #1/multi-platinum album Mi Sangre (My Blood) and its 19-month/170-concert worldwide tour. Since the album’s release in September 2004, Mi Sangre and its multiple hit singles have reached #1 on album and/or singles charts in 32 countries throughout Latin America, the United States and Europe.
Most recently, even the Far East embraced Mi Sangre; as Juanes achieved the highest ever debut for a Spanish language album in Japan. In total, the album has sold well over 3 million copies, including nearly a million copies in The United States and another million units in non-Spanish speaking countries in Europe and Asia.
Launched in February of 2005 in Tampa, Florida and set to conclude August 5, 2006 in Madeira, Portugal. The Mi Sangre Tour is quite simply the most extensive worldwide tour in both concert performances and audience size ever mounted by an all-Spanish language performer. Declared “The Best Concert of the Year… as good as music gets” by The Miami Herald, The Mi Sangre Tour broke new ground for a Latin rock tour as it sold out arena’s such as Madison Square Garden, stadiums in Europe and Latin America and drew over 150,000 fans to a show in Medellin, Colombia.
Following the final Mi Sangre Tour performance on August 5th, Juanes plans to withdraw from public events for the next several months as he devotes time to family and to the writing and production of his next highly anticipated album-likely expected for summer of 2007.