Friday, April 5, 2013
He soon established himself as a performer in Juárez and Mexico City. In 1971, at the age of 21, Alberto signed a contract with RCA and changed his name to Juan Gabriel (Juan, in honor of a schoolmaster whom he held in high regard, and the surname Gabriel, after his deceased father, Gabriel Aguilera). He has become a legend in Latino music as a singer, composer and entertainer, selling in excess of 100 million albums.
As a philanthropist, Gabriel has consistently given large sums to support Mexican orphans. He has four adopted children of his own. To be an out-and-proud entertainer in Hollywood is one thing, but in rigidly traditional Mexico it is another, so when asked if he were gay, Gabriel famously responded, "What is seen does not need to be asked. I don't have to tell you things that do not concern you or others. I think that I am an artist who has given much with my music" (Lo que se ve no se pregunta. Yo no tengo por qué decirle cosas que a usted, como a muchas otras personas, no les interesa, yo pienso que soy un artista que he dado mucho con mis canciones). However, proving that actions speak louder than words, he recently confirmed that he was engaged to marry his male partner, 23-year-old Spanish singer Jaz Bael, shown below.
Gabriel has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and there is a statue of him on Mexico City's Plaza Garibaldi, a favorite performance area for mariachi bands. The sculpture, erected in 2001, was crafted by artist Oscar Ponzanelli.
In this live performance clip Gabriel performs his signature tune Querida: