Often called "The Mexican Madonna," Latin pop singer Yuri was born Yuridia Valenzuela Canseco in Veracruz on January 6, 1964; a musical prodigy, at age nine she was offered a scholarship to study dance with the Bolshoi Ballet -- she declined -- and as a teen fronted the group Yuri and the Electric Apple. After relocating to Mexico City in 1978, she cut her debut single, a Spanish-language rendition of "You Light Up My Life," (which translated as "Tu Iluminas Mi Vida") and also doubled as the title of her first LP. A co-starring role in the film [RoviLink="VW"]Milagro en el Circo followed before Yuri scored a hit with the title track of her 1980 sophomore LP, Esperanza; Llena de Dulzura followed a year later, becoming the first record by a female Latin American singer to earn a gold record in Spain. The single "Maldita Primavera" made Yuri an international sensation, selling over a million copies worldwide; another smash, "El Peque+¦o Panda de Chapultepec," soon followed.
After a 1983 self-titled LP, she returned a year later with Karma Kamaleon, highlighted by a Spanish rendition of the Culture Club hit; in 1985, Yuri starred in the film [RoviLink="VW"]Canta Chamo, releasing the album Un Corazon Herido the following year. After 1987's Aire, she recorded a duet with Don Johnson on "A Better Place/Un Lugar Mejor." After moving from EMI to Sony, she issued the LP Isla del Sol. Yuri's next LP, Suigeneris, did not appear until 1990; Soy Libre followed in 1991, and after 1993's Nueva Era she began hosting a TV variety series, [RoviLink="VW"]No Te Muevas. Another series, [RoviLink="VW"]Volver a Empezar, soon followed, as did the 1995 LP Espejos del Alma. Subsequent projects included the autobiographical 1997 film [RoviLink="VW"]Yuri, Mi Verdadera Historia and the 1998 album Huellas. Que Tu Fe Nunca Muera appeared in early 2001. ~ Jason Ankeny
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