Gilberto Santa Rosa

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  • Punto de Vista

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About Gilberto Santa Rosa

Singer Gilberto Santa Rosa—known as El Caballero de la Salsa (The Gentleman of Salsa)—made his performance debut at age 12 on a Puerto Rican children’s TV show. ∙ By age 15, he was sitting in with Latin jazz outfit Puerto Rico All-Stars, while also recording with salsa bandleaders Tommy Olivencia and Willie Rosario. ∙ In 1995, he was the first salsero to perform at Carnegie Hall, where he flashed his skills as a sonero—a singer skilled in improvisation—nearly doubling the length of such now-classics as “Perdóname.” ∙ Known for his stylistic versatility, he included both a romantic ballad and salsa version of the No. 1 hit “Por Mas Que Intento” on 2002’s Viceversa. ∙ Guinness World Records honored him in 2016 for taking the top spot on Billboard’s Tropical Albums chart a dozen times. ∙ In 2017, Lin-Manuel Miranda asked him to sing on the Hurricane Maria benefit track “Almost Like Praying,”—seven years after the salsero performed “Déjate Querer” at his wedding. ∙ His remarkable vocal prowess has earned the singer a Billboard Lo Nuestro award, a Grammy Award, and four Latin Grammys.

Puerto Rico
August 21, 1962

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