Luis Miguel was my brother's favorite singer when we were growing up. (And yes, I liked him, too.)
Maybe it was the music, poppy and adult at the same time. I still remember the chirpy 1981 hit “1 + 1 = 2 Enamorados” with shocking clarity.
Maybe it was the hair, shaggy and banged one minute, wild like a lion's mane a few years later. Check out the gel-tastic cover of 1988's “Busco Una Mujer,” which spawned one of Miguel's biggest hits to date, “La Incondicional.”
But I mostly think it was the first name, which my brother shared with the eternally suntanned singer. Those things mean a lot when you're a kid.
Miguel's strengths have always been power ballads, boleros and rancheras — simmering genres that showcase the rich power in his voice. The key to Luis Miguel's catalog is class (and several standout music videos). Here are 10 songs that never get old:
1 + 1 = 2 Enamorados (1981): He wasn't even a teen at the time, and his voice was still as light as a feather. This frothy pop song made Luis Miguel a tween heartthrob long before Bieber Fever. And he'd give Bieber a run in the hair department, too. Look up the video. Now.
Ahora Te Puedes Marchar (1987): This tune was made famous in English (I Only Want to Be With You) two decades earlier by Dusty Springfield (and later by overseas pinup Samantha Fox). Luis Miguel took it to No. 1 on the Latin chart.
La Incondicional (1989): The video for this swoon-inducing ballad is as iconic as the song itself. Miguel cuts his hair, shows off his physique and plays a lovelorn military pilot. At the time of its release, the tune broke several airplay records in Latin America.
No Se Tú (1992): A standout from the groundbreaking Romance bolero album, which featured covers of Spanish-language classics. It's one of those ballads that could stop traffic when sung just the right way.
Hasta Que Me Olvides (1993): More sweetness and heartbreak from the Grammy-winning Aries album. When he powers into that chorus, it's useless to resist.
La Media Vuelta (1994): Luis Miguel's “Segundo Romance” album sold millions of copies (again) and solidified his status as a superstar. His take on José Alfredo Jimenez's “La Media Vuelta” is still a sublime career standout.
Por Debajo de la Mesa (1997): A key track from the third “Romances” album, which translates to Underneath the Table. The black-and-white video cast Miguel as a Frank Sinatra character. His voice has rarely sounded so rich.
O Tu O Ninguna (1999): Despite so much success with covers, Luis Miguel continued to prove he was adept at modern pop balladry with this anthemic chart-topper. “Or you, or no one,” he insists.
La Bikina (2000): This cut from a second live album expertly showcased his command of a song and a crowd. It also served as a precursor to 2004's Mexico en la Piel album and has likely been played at many a birthday, wedding or quinceañera.
Que Seas Feliz (2004): Any song from the sterling Mexico en la Piel mariachi album could have made this list. This oft-recorded classic from Consuelo Velázquez is one of the best. It simmers to a regal boil.