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Famous Like Me > Singer > C > Willie Colón

Profile of Willie Colón on Famous Like Me

Name: Willie Colón  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 28th April 1950
Place of Birth:
Profession: Singer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Willie Colón (born 28 April 1950) is a Puerto Rican-American salsa musician. First and foremost a trombonist, Colón also sings, writes, and produces.

Colón was born in the Bronx, New York, of Puerto Rican parents. He was signed to the Fania label at 17. He went on to have many successful collaborations with salsa musicians such as singers Héctor Lavoe and Celia Cruz, and singer-songwriter Rubén Blades. Willie Colón Award-Winning Latin Music Artist Willie Colón, a native of the Bronx, is one of the greats in the history of Latin music. Born in 1950 to Puerto Rican grandparents, Colón picked up the trombone from a young age. He recorded his first album at age 17, which ultimately sold more than 300,000 copies. Beyond his skills on the trombone, he rapidly excelled as a composer, arranger, and singer, and eventually as a producer and director. Combining elements of jazz, rock, and salsa, his diverse work incorporates the rhythms of traditional Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Brazilian music. Colón holds the record for all time sales, creating 40 productions that have sold over 30 million records worldwide. His work has won fifteen gold records, five platinum records, and has been nominated for 11 Grammy awards. In September 2004, Colón received the Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award from the Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Over the course of his career, he has collaborated with musical greats such as the Fania All Stars, Héctor LaVoe, Rubén Blades, David Byrne, and Celia Cruz. Siembra, his record with Rubén Blades, remains the best selling album of all time for its genre. Beyond devoting himself to creating art, Colón has worked hard to preserve and vitalize art, serving as the chair of the Association of Hispanic Arts. His activism does not stop there. Colón has been especially active working on human rights, immigration, and environmental issues.

He has served as a member of the Latino Commission on AIDS, as a board member of the United Nations Immigrant Foundation, and as a board member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.

Additionally, in 1997, Colón became a spokesman for CARE, a major international development and relief organization.

In 2001, the Environmental Protection Agency recognized Colón’s commitment to a better world in presenting him with the “Environmental Quality Award.”

Colón has also been active in academia. In addition to serving as a visiting professor and receiving honorary degrees at various universities, in 1991, Colón received Yale University’s Chubb Fellowship, an honor that he shares with John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush, among others.

In 1993, Colón participated in President Clinton’s inaugural ceremonies. Subsequently, Clinton invited him to be a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

In 2001, Colón was heavily influential in Michael Bloomberg’s campaign for mayor. Colón currently serves as Bloomberg’s representative to El Museo del Barrio and as the mayor’s liaison to the Latin Media Entertainment Commission (to which Robert DeNiro and Jennifer Lopez serve as the celebrity chairs).

Colón has also waged campaigns for New York’s 17th district congressional seat and for Public Advocate for the City of New York.

Despite his political commitments, Colón is still a phenomenal performer. In 2000, he performed in front of a crowd of more than 100,000 in Mexico City’s official Easter celebration, and most recently, in June 2005, he performed at the major Puerto Rican Day parade in New York.

Over the years, he has fused his artistic prowess with his passion for politics, making positive impacts for numerous causes. As celebrated musician and a dynamic community leader, Colón is a real asset to the Back-to-School 2005 campaign.

Also see

  • List of famous Puerto Ricans

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Willie Colón