Jose Manuel Figueroa
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José Manuel Figueroa is a shapeshifting Mexican singer and songwriter best known for modernizing the ranchera tradition and bridging it to pop by melding unique musical settings. He is the son of the legendary singer and songwriter Joan Sebastian. Born in 1975, Figueroa began following in his father's footsteps at a young age. Gradually influenced by the many innovations in Rock en Español and pop, he embraced a wide range of styles, developing his own sound in the process -- even when singing his dad's songs.
He was signed to Fonovisia at age 19 and released his debut album, Expulsado del Paraiso, in 1995, produced by his father. Its meld of ranchera, elegant pop, rock, cumbia, mariachi, and romantico connected with the Mexican public: the album went on to sell 300,000 copies and made many critics' year-end lists. Its self-titled single landed inside the Top 20 on the Latin Songs chart, as did its follow-up, "Quiero y Necesito." He toured, went on television, and slowly began working on his self-titled second album, which was issued three years later. While it didn't have the sales impact of its predecessor, it offered more evidence that Figueroa was more interested in developing a new sound than anything else. Critically, its weave of Mexican and Spanish styles, innovative production (again by Sebastian), and imaginative instrumentation, texture, and romantic approach connected with audiences.
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