Gabriel Scores First Top Latin Albums in Nearly Two Decades

It’s been a long time coming, but Juan Gabriel is back at the top of the charts…

The iconic 65-year-old Mexican singer/songwriter climbs to No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums (dated March 7) with Los Duo, scoring his first chart-topping set in 18 years, after debuting last week at No. 2.

Juan Gabriel

The new duets album — which features a variety of guests like Juanes and Marco Antonio Solis — is helping Gabriel cover his own classics — sold 9,000 units in its second week, according to Nielsen Music.

Rising to the top despite a 61 percent decline in sale, the album opened with 23,000 copies (Gabriel’s biggest sales week since Nielsen started tracking sales in 1991) but was bested by Ricky Martin’s No. 1-debuting A Quien Quiera Escucharwhich arrived with 25,000. Both sets saw an expected second-week dip, with Martin dropping 72 percent (to 7,000), allowing Gabriel to take the top spot with the smaller sales decrease.

Gabriel, whose career launched in the early 1970s, last claimed the top spot in 1997 (with his only other No. 1 album) when Juntos Otra Vez, a collaborative set with Spanish singer Rocio Durcal, spent a week at the top.

It garnered a similar second-week climb to No. 1 after debuting the prior week at No. 7. (The Top Latin Albums chart launched in July of 1993.)

Over on Latin Pop Airplay, the new album’s lead single “Querida,” featuring Juanes, steps 26-25 with a two percent increase at the plays-based format.

Among Los Duo’s collaborations is “Se Me Olvido Otra Vez” with Solis, as the pair team up for a cover of Gabriel’s classic song that was first released in 1974.

Other artists from multiple Latin genres that join Gabriel on the set include regional Mexican singer-songwriter Espinoza Paz (duetting on “Siempre En Mi Mente,” the title track from Gabriel’s 1978 album) and Italian pop star Laura Pausini. The latter lends her powerful voice to “ Juan Gabriel,” the title track from a No. 2-peaking Gabriel album released in 2000.

Additional duets with the likes of Vicente Fernandez, Natalia Jimenez, Alejandra Guzman and Fifth Harmony also help to shape Gabriel’s chart-topping set.

Gabriel Interviews Himself About His Health and Upcoming U.S. Tour

Despite constant rumors that he’s dead or dying, Juan Gabriel is alive and well, and preparing to hit the road, and he hasn’t lost his sense of humor.

The 64-year-old Mexican singer-songwriter, whose real name is Alberto Aguilera Valadez, has released a humorous three-minute video in which he interviews himself to address news over the last few months that he had a bad case of pneumonia, which lead to the postponement of a major U.S. tour.

Juan Gabriel

Appearing to have lost considerable weight, Gabriel resurfaced publicly on Friday by releasing the video, where he appears as Alberto Aguilera and the celebrity persona Juan Gabriel, answering in a cool and calm way. “How are you?” Aguilera asks. “I’m fine,” Gabriel replies. “Better.”

Gabriel goes on to say he’s ready to continue touring and mentions that he misses the mariachi, the musicians, the dancers and everyone on his tour.

At one point Aguilera says, “You look much thinner and look much better.”
In a serene state, Gabriel responds with, “Did I worry you? Did I scare you? You got nervous … but you’re always with me. You love me, you cover me, you protect me, you hug me, you understand me, you accept me, you forgive me. Without you, I cannot live.”

Aguilera, holding a folding fan, thanks Gabriel for all he’s done as he sits next to a photo of the singer in his early years. At the end of the video, Aguilera then reads the upcoming tour dates. 
”Lets go,” Gabriel says with a smile. Fade to black.

Here’s the list of Juan Gabriel’s upcoming U.S. tour dates:

Sept. 5: American Airlines Arena (Miami)
Sept. 7: Prudential Center (Newark, N.J.)
Sept. 12: SAP Center at San Jose (San Jose, Calif.)
Sept. 18: Nokia Theatre L.A. Live (Los Angeles)
Sept. 20: Nokia Theatre L.A. Live (Los Angeles)
Sept. 21: Nokia Theatre L.A. Live (Los Angeles)
Sept. 26: Pepsi Center (Denver)
Sept. 28: Oracle Arena (Oakland, Calif.)