Do you remember the Colombia/Venezuela/Ecuador crisis that happened not too long ago? During this time of tension, as Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez was sending troops to the border, and Ecuador was withdrawing its ambassador to Colombia, the Colombian Rock star JUANES (which does not mean more than 1 Juan, but rather is the contraction of his first name Juan and the first part of his middle name Esteban) proposed a massive free rock concert called PEACE WITHOUT BOARDERS -- PAZ SIN FRONTERAS.

The concert was held on the bridge that connects Cúcuta, Colombia and San Antonio, Venezuela. It featured many famous singers including 2 Spaniards, 1 Dominican, 1 Venezuelan, 1 Ecuadorian and Colombians -- Juanes and Carlos Vives. Juanes paid for most of the event and requested that the political leaders, like President Uribe, not attend. He told the President not to come as this event was not political in nature, but rather an expression of the common musical culture that links all countries.

Juanes is a national icon in Colombia and most Colombians are proud to claim him. He was born in Medellín and is thoroughly Paisa. He decided at age 7 he wanted to become a musician and actually started his professional life at 15 with his band Ekhymosis. (My husband remembers them well and says he really liked their songs). He eventually struck out on his own and chose his own name -- Juanes -- as his musical moniker.

Juanes does a lot of humanitarian work promoting the deactivation of anti-personal landmines. He has also spoken at the United Nations and serves as a UN goodwill embassador.

Juanes is married to a beautiful Colombian model and has 2 daughters.

His music combines traditional Colombian rhythms with rock and pop sounds. He uses instruments that are typical to Colombian traditional music -- like the TIPLE and ACORDEÓN. Many of his songs talk about socio-political issues and problems.

Check some of them out, these are the top hits from each of his last 4 albums:

Fíjate Bien http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GX_HIhTRFo

A Dios Le Pido

Camisa Negra

Me Enamora http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWA59qwfGL0


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