Considered by many to be a trailblazer in the Spanish rock ‘n roll scene, Miguel Rios was born on June 7 in 1944. Not only did he find success as a singer, but also as an actor and a composer, making him one of the most successful Spanish artists of his time.
Born in Granada, Spain in the La Cartuja neighborhood, Rios grew up in a relatively urban area. The metro area surrounding Granada is home to just under half-a-million people. It was here that Rios began his life. Although he didn’t have much in the way of formal education, he did begin working at a young age. When he was 15, he got a job at a local bar.
After his father’s death in 1961, he packed up his belongings and moved to Madrid. At the time, he was 16 years old. It was here that his music career started after he recorded his first songs.
Even at this early stage of his career, he enjoyed quite a bit of popularity. He started going by the name Mike Rios and earned the nickname The King of Twist.
As the years passed, his career began to expand into new areas. Between the years 1960 and 1964, he went on to do several television performances, giving him his first taste of being in front of the camera.
It wasn’t until 1965, however, that he appeared in his first film. The movie, which was titled Dos Chicas Locas, was about two twin sisters who were struggling to figure out which one of them was heir to their grandfather’s fortune. Although the film wasn’t particularly well received, it did allow Rios to get some acting experience.
As the 1960s went on, things took a turn for the worse for Rios. He went through a rough patch in the late 1960s. Fortunately, he managed to come out of it by the beginning of the year 1970, which is when he caught his first major break in music. It was at this time that one of the songs that he released went on to receive international acclaim.
The song, which was called Himno de la Alegria, was derived from Beethoven’s Last Symphony. Although classical music and rock ‘n roll may seem like a strange fit, it was during this time that symphonic rock was enjoying its heyday.
Rios timed the launch of the song perfectly, which is what helped skyrocket it to popularity. Throughout the world, 3 million copies of the song were sold, making Miguel Rios a well-known name in many different countries. Unfortunately, his success was short-lived.
In the early 1970s, Rios was found with hashish in his possession. This led to his subsequent arrest, after which he spent some time in jail.
Sadly, his career never really recovered from this incident. The albums he launched in the following years never quite achieved the same level of success that he had enjoyed with his earlier music.
It wasn’t until 1982 that he again recaptured a glimmer of success. It was then that he released a game-changing live album. Recorded in March of that year at the Pabellon de Real Madrid, the album, which was titled Rock and Rios, went on to sell almost half-a-million copies the first year, making it a commercial success.
More importantly, the album is often viewed as being a seminal work in the Spanish music industry. What made the release of the album so unique is that it was launched in conjunction with his tour. At the time, the tradition was to wait to put out an album until after a tour had ended. The combined album release and tour allowed Rios to earn a large amount of money, making him one of the most financially successful musicians of the time.