07 September 2015

Miguel Bosé

Handsome Spanish singer and actor Miguel Bosé (1956) was a major teen idol in Southern Europe between 1977 and 1982. Later he became popular as a pop singer in Latin America. As an actor he worked with interesting directors like Dario Argento,  Pedro Almodóvar and Patrice Chereau.

Miguel Bosé
Spanish postcard in the series Tus Idolos by Super Pop Tu revista.


Miguel Bosé was born Miguel Luchino González Borlani in 1956 in San Fernando Hospital in Panama City, Panama. He was the son of Italian actress Lucia Bosè and bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguín. He grew up in an environment surrounded by art and culture. Close friends of his family were Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway. His godfather was Luchino Visconti and Pablo Picasso was the godfather of his sister Paola Dominguin.

In 1971, propelled by his famous family and their friends, Bosé started a career as an actor. He appeared in small roles in Italian films like the war-comedy Gli eroi/The Heroes (Duccio Tessari, 1973) and the exploitation crime film La Orca/Snatch (Eriprando Visconti, 1976) with Michele Placido.

Bosé quickly won spots on the basis of his talent and good looks alone, rather than his name, and he did study serious acting as well as dancing and singing. In 1975 he started exploring his talents as a singer. With the assistance of Camilo Blanes he recorded his first singles.

Two years later, in 1977, Bosé signed a contract with CBS Records, and he remained with them until 1984. Between 1977 and 1982, Bosè was a major teen idol in Italy (where he sang in Italian and English) and in Spain (where he sang in Spanish). He had 7 top ten hits in a disco/new wave trend that earned him a secure spot in every televised song festival held in Southern Europe.

During this period, he continued to play in films, including the Spanish production Retrato de Familia/Family Portrait (Antonio Giménez-Rico, 1976), the Spaghetti Western California (Michele Lupo, 1977) starring Giulianno Gemma, and the classic Giallo Suspiria/Sighs (Dario Argento, 1977) with Jessica Harper.

Miguel Bosé
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.

High Heels

In 1983, Miguel Bosé’s star had severely waned in Italy, and he rarely performed there again until the 2000s. In 1983, 1984, and 1985, Bosé participated in the Llena Tu Cabeza De Rock television specials on Puerto Rico WAPA-TV. In 1985 his song Amante bandido rose to the top of the charts all over Latin America and in Spain. The video to that song also became one of the most widely seen Spanish music videos, with Bose playing both a Superman style superhero and an Indiana Jones type of adventurer in it.

He revived his international film career with roles in the Italian comedy L'avaro/The Miser (Tonino Cervi, 1990), starring Alberto Sordi and Laura Antonelli, and the Spanish melodrama Tacones lejanos/High Heels (Pedro Almodóvar, 1991) starring Marisa Paredes and Victoria Abril.

In Tacones lejanos, the male lead was difficult to cast. The actor had to be believable in drag and as a judge. When the role eventually went to Bosé, his casting was a cause célèbre of the film publicity. The film was enormously successful in Spain and eventually it came second in terms of box-office takings to Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios/Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988) among Almodóvar's films released up to that point. High Heels was also a success in France and Italy, but did less well in other countries.

Bosé then played the lead in the French drama Mazeppa (Bartabas, 1993) and the excellent French period film La Reine Margot/Queen Margot (Patrice Chéreau, 1994) featuring Isabelle Adjani and Vincent Perez. His later films were less successful.

Musically, he would return to the top in Italy in 1994, by winning the musical event Festivalbar for the third time. In the following decade, Bosé's popularity continued undiminished as he released four more studio albums and two live albums. In 2007, to celebrate his 30 years as a singer, he released Papito, an album that contains remakes of his previous songs, re-interpreted in duets with artists like Juanes, Alejandro Sanz, Laura Pausini, Shakira, Ricky Martin, and Michael Stipe from R.E.M..

His hit single Nena, featuring Mexican superstar Paulina Rubio, was nominated for a Latin Grammy for best song, and became the best selling download of Spain in 2007. In 2008, Colombian President Álvaro Uribe offered him Colombian citizenship because of his efforts towards peace in Colombia, including his participation in two concerts in 2008. In 2010 he received Colombian citizenship. In 2012 he released the album Papitwo, a follow-up to his successful Papito.

Zac Johnson at AllMusic: "Defying the contemporary formula for pop success, his music has been described as a global fusion of many musical influences. At the center of his music is all the passion and expression of a Latin artist, yet Miguel Bosé has constantly incorporated more diverse musical elements than many of the genre's crossover pop stars."

American trailer for Suspiria/Sighs (Dario Argento, 1977) - without Bosé. Source: EazyWWEfan's channel (YouTube).

Trailer for the Spaghetti Western California (Michele Lupo, 1977). Source: The Spaghetti Western Database (YouTube).

Trailer for Tacones lejanos/High Heels (Pedro Almodóvar, 1991). Source: Eldeseopc (YouTube).

Video clip for the song Nena (2007). Source: Miguel Bosé (YouTube).

Video clip for the song Encanto of Miguel Bosé's laste album Amo (2014). Source: Miguel Bosé (YouTube).

Sources: Zac Johnson (AllMusic), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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