Jon Secada, born October 4, 1961, is a Cuban-American singer and songwriter whose work has earned him two Grammy awards, and his albums have sold over 20 million copies since 1992. He has also written songs for other artists — most famously for Gloria Estefan, Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin and Mandy Moore.

Jon Secada Biography

Though born in Cuba, Secada spent his first 12 years living in Spain before his family moved to Miami to open up a coffee shop. It was in Miami, among the many different cultures and musical styles, that Secada gained an interest in music and found he had a talent for it. While managing his family’s coffee shop, Secada earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music, followed by a Master’s degree in Jazz Vocal Performance.

Jon Secada Music Career

Secada started out as a backup singer for Gloria Estefan; eventually, he started composing music for her as well as co-writing a number of Estefan’s most popular ballads, particularly “Coming out of the Dark,” which Secada co-wrote and lent background vocals to. During Estefan’s “Coming out of the Dark” tour, Estefan brought Secada onstage where he performed “Always Something” himself. It stole the show that night and launched Secada’s solo career.

His first album, Jon Secada, sold over 6 million copies and went triple platinum. His following albums continued a trend of growing success, though he continued to co-write songs for other artists as well. Secada co-wrote the song “Bella”, the Spanish version of “She’s All I Ever Had” for Ricky Martin; he co-wrote and co-produced the song “Baila” by Jennifer Lopez, and worked with Mandy Moore on “One Sided Love” and “It Only Took a Minute.” The albums that featured these songs all went platinum.

Jon Secada Charity Work

Secada has long been involved with charities, mostly for children — regarding education, AIDS research and drug abuse. He founded the Jon Secada Music Scholarship at his alma mater, The University of Miami, and has supported initiatives such as Pediatric AIDS Unit at Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital, the Lifebeat Concert to benefit AIDS, Amigos Together for Kids, Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Boys and Girls Club, Keeping Music in Schools. Secada has also raised funds for victims of hurricanes and the families of 9/11 victims.

Secada was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, which is charged with creating a multi-year plan of action aimed at closing the educational achievement gap between Hispanic students and their peers.

Jon Secada Interview

In uInterview’s exclusive interview with Secada, he recounted a story about his early career struggling in the business, and how he helped out Don Johnson, who was attempting his own career in the industry. Secada worked with Johnson for months, helping him greatly, and though an invoice was sent, Johnson’s people refused to pay him. Secada originally told this story on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno where other media outlets picked it up. “They asked me something about my career or what happened in the beginning of my career things that I wanted to talk about. I said well, you know, ‘Don Johnson owes me money,’ and they just jumped all over it and it became a story. But it’s a true story though, and he still owes me money!”

As of this writing, Johnson still hasn’t paid Secada.

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