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Carlos Vives
Background information
Birth name Carlos Alberto Vives Restrepo
Born (1961-08-07) 7 August 1961 (age 61)
Santa Marta, Colombia
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actor
Years active 1978–present
  • FM Discos Y Cintas
  • Sony
  • Sonolux
  • Gaira Música Local
  • PolyGram
  • EMI
  • Virgin
Associated acts

Carlos Alberto Vives Restrepo (born 7 August 1961) is a Colombian singer, songwriter and actor. His music spans multiple genres though it is generally categorized as a fusion of pop vocals and traditional musical styles of Colombia, including vallenato, cumbia, porro and champeta.

His hits include "Volvi a Nacer", "La Gota Fría", "Pa' Mayte", "La Tierra del Olvido", "Fruta Fresca", "Robarte un Beso", (a collaborative effort with fellow Colombian singer Sebastián Yatra), "La Bicicleta" (with Shakira) and "Canción Bonita" (which he worked on with Ricky Martin).

He also performed the Lin-Manuel Miranda-penned theme song ("Colombia, Mi Encanto") for the Disney animated feature film Encanto, which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

Early life

Carlos Vives was born on 7 August 1961 in Santa Marta, Magdalena, Colombia, where he spent his first 12 years of life. At that age, he and his family moved to Bogotá in search of a better life. He enrolled at Jorge Tadeo Lozano University and holds a degree in Advertising from the university. In Bogotá, he also acquired a taste for rock, getting involved in the local music scene, and started playing in bars and cafés around the city.


In 1982, Vives began acting in a number of shows and telenovelas including Pequeños Gigantes ("Little Giants" – 1983) and Tuyo es Mi Corazón ("Yours Is My Heart" – 1985). He finally found fame in 1986 by playing the title role of Gallito Ramírez, which told the story of a Colombian Caribbean coast boxer who falls in love with an uptight girl, who was portrayed by his first wife, Margarita Rosa de Francisco. That same year, he released his first album, Por Fuera y Por Dentro. The album, primarily made of ballads, failed to gain any success. In 1987, he released his second ballad album, No Podrás Escapar de Mí. Though the title track reached No. 30 on the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks, the album did not sell well. His next album, Al Centro de la Ciudad, would become his last album to feature synthesizer-romantic ballads. Some of the songs got some attention being featured in telenovelas, but the album, just as its predecessors, failed to gain success.

In 1989, he was offered an acting job in Puerto Rico, and upon moving, he took a break in his music career. He is remembered for his leading roles in the soaps La Otra and Aventurera. He married Herlinda Gómez, his second wife (they have since divorced). Vives would spend his time between Colombia, Miami and the city of Mayagüez, Herlinda's hometown, during his marriage to her.

Since 1991

Carlos Vives

Upon his return to Colombia in 1991, he was offered a TV role that would change his life forever. He was cast in the leading role of a fantasy series based in the life of vallenato composer Rafael Escalona unsurprisingly titled Escalona. He sang the composer's songs in the series, and that's when he retooled his career towards vallenato, gaining national success with the release of the Telenovela's two soundtrack albums, Escalona: Un Canto a la Vida and Escalona: Vol. 2.

In 1993, backed by the band "La Provincia", Vives released the album Clásicos de la Provincia in which he started fusing Vallenato with rock, pop and other Caribbean Colombian ethnic rhythms. This fusion scandalized Vallenato purists. Clásicos de la Provincia, won the Billboard Latin Music Awards Best Album, introducing Vallenato to both Colombia and the rest of the world.

The follow-up album, La Tierra del Olvido would mark a further step in Vives' desire to fusion rock, funk and pop music with traditional Colombian genres. The album gave Vives classic hits such as the title track, and the up-tempo opening track Pa' Mayte.

His subsequent releases, Tengo Fé (1997), El Amor de Mi Tierra (1999), Déjame Entrar (2001) and El Rock de Mi Pueblo (2004), were all commercially successful and were well received by the critics. In 2002 Carlos Vives' album "Déjame Entrar" won him his first Grammy award for Best Traditional Tropical Latin Album.

In 2009 he released the album Clásicos de la Provincia II, which was sold exclusively in Colombian supermarket chain "Almacenes Éxito." The album saw Vives' return to covering Vallenato songs in his own style.

His hits include "Matilde Lina", "La Hamaca Grande", "La Gota Fría", "Alicia Adorada", "Pa' Mayte", "La Tierra del Olvido", "Tu Amor Eterno", "Fruta Fresca", "Déjame Entrar", "Luna Nueva", "Carito", "Papadio", "Como Tú" and "Décimas Del Parecido" (this last one a tribute to Guillermo Martínez, a Cuban-born radio host who resides in Mayagüez, and for whose program Vives was an occasional master control technician).

Carlos Vives interviewed by Ana María Canseco at Latinovator Award Luncheon. -hispz14 -estadiodetodos (13609946414)
Carlos Vives interviewed by Ana María Canseco


With more than 40 songs written in 2012, the new album was released in April 2013 and featured 11 tracks. The first single, "Volví a Nacer", was released in September 2012 and went straight to No. 1 on Billboard. The second single, "Como Le Gusta a Tu Cuerpo" featuring Michel Teló was released in late January 2013. Carlos appeared with fellow artists Ricardo Montaner, Fanny Lu, and Andrés Cepeda as one of the coaches for the first season of the vocal competition series phenomenon The Voice Colombia, which premiered October 2012 via Colombian TV network Caracol TV.

On 27 May 2016, "La Bicicleta" with fellow Colombian singer Shakira was released as a single. The video for the song was filmed in Colombia in each of their home cities. The song debuted at the number one spot on Billboard's US Latin Airplay chart and number four on the US Hot Latin Songs chart.

On 13 September 2018, Telemundo announced Carlos Vives as the fourth coach of La Voz (U.S.). Vives joins Luis Fonsi, Alejandra Guzman and Wisin as coaches on the Spanish-language version of NBC singing-competition The Voice.

Personal life

Vives was married to the Colombian actress Margarita Rosa de Francisco in a relationship that was closely followed by the national media. Puerto Rican Herlinda Gómez was his second wife, with whom he had two children: Carlos Enrique Vives and Lucía Vives. He is now married to former Miss Colombia Claudia Elena Vásquez and they have two children: Elena Vives, and Pedro Vives. He spends his time between Miami and Colombia, mainly Santa Marta and Bogotá.


  • 1986 Por Fuera y Por Dentro
  • 1987 No Podrás Escapar de Mí
  • 1989 Al Centro de la Ciudad
  • 1991 Escalona: Un Canto A La Vida
  • 1992 Escalona: Vol. 2
  • 1993 Clásicos de la Provincia
  • 1994 20 De Colección
  • 1995 La Tierra del Olvido
  • 1997 Tengo Fe
  • 1999 El Amor de Mi Tierra
  • 2000 15 Exitos
  • 2001 Déjame Entrar
  • 2004 El Rock de Mi Pueblo
  • 2009 Clásicos de la Provincia II
  • 2013 Corazón Profundo
  • 2014 Más + Corazón Profundo
  • 2015 Más Corazón Profundo En Vivo De La Bahia De Santa Marta
  • 2017 Vives
  • 2020 Cumbiana
  • 2021 Canción Bonita [Single]
  • 2021 Colombia, Mi Encanto
  • 2022 Baloncito Viejo [Single]


  • 1982 Tiempo Sin Huella (Julián).
  • 1982 David Copperfield (David Copperfield "Adult").
  • 1983 Pequeños gigantes (Guineo).
  • 1984 El Faraón (Capitolino Rojas).
  • 1985 Tuyo es mi corazón (Carlos Sánchez).
  • 1986 Gallito Ramírez (Javier "Gallito" Ramírez).
  • 1987 Tormento (César Augusto Caballero).
  • 1988 La Otra (Arnaldo Vásquez).
  • 1989 La Conciencia de Lucía (Alberto).
  • 1989 LP loca pasión (Julio Sanmiguel "Sammy").
  • 1990 Aventurera (Juan Carlos Santander).
  • 1991 Escalona (Rafael Escalona).
  • 1991 Cadena Braga (José Antonio).
  • 1992 La mujer doble (Mateo Escondria).
  • 1992–1993 La estrategia del caracol (José Antonio Samper Pupo).
  • 1995 La Tele.
  • 2012 La Voz Colombia (Coach).
  • 2019 La Voz (Coach).
  • 2021 Encanto (Colombia, Mi Encanto)

Awards and nominations

Billboard Latin Music Awards

Year Category Nominated work Result
2017 Latin Pop Songs Artist of the Year, Solo Himself Nominated
Hot Latin Song of the Year "La Bicicleta" (feat Shakira) Nominated
Vocal Event Nominated
Airplay Song of the Year Nominated
Digital Song of the Year Nominated
Latin Pop Song of the Year Nominated
2018 Tropical Album of the Year Vives Nominated
2019 Tropical Song of the Year "Hoy Tengo Tiempo (Pinta Sensual)" Nominated
Tropical Artist of the Year Himself Nominated
2020 Hall of Fame Inducted
2021 Tropical Artist of the Year Nominated

Grammy Awards

Vives has won two awards out of five Grammy Award nominations.

Year Category Nominated work Result
2000 Best Traditional Tropical Latin Performance El Amor de Mi Tierra Nominated
2002 Best Traditional Tropical Latin Album Déjame Entrar Won
2005 Best Latin Pop Album El Rock de Mi Pueblo Nominated
2014 Best Tropical Latin Album Corazón Profundo Nominated
2015 Best Tropical Latin Album Más + Corazón Profundo Won
2019 Best Latin Pop Album Vives Nominated
2023 Best Tropical Latin Album Cumbiana II Pending

Latin Grammy Awards

A Latin Grammy Award is awarded by the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. Carlos Vives has won eleven awards from twenty two nominations.

Year Category Nominated work Result
2000 Album of the Year El Amor de Mi Tierra Nominated
Best Traditional Tropical Album Nominated
Record Of the Year "Fruta Fresca" Nominated
Song of the Year Nominated
Best Male Pop Vocal Performance Nominated
Best Tropical Song Nominated
2002 Album of the Year Déjame Entrar Nominated
Best Contemporary Tropical Album Won
Record of the Year "Déjame Entrar" Nominated
Song of the Year Nominated
Best Tropical Song Won
Best Short Form Music Video Nominated
2005 Best Contemporary Tropical Album El Rock de Mi Pueblo Won
Best Tropical Song "Como Tú" Nominated
2009 Best Latin Children's Album Pombo Musical (Varios Artistas) Won
2013 Album of the Year Corazón Profundo Nominated
Best Tropical Fusion Album Won
Record of the Year "Volví a Nacer" Nominated
Song of the Year Won
Best Tropical Song Won
2014 Album of the Year Más Corazón Profundo Nominated
Best Contemporary Tropical Album Won
"Record of the Year" "El Mar de Sus Ojos" Nominated
"Cuando Nos Volvamos a Encontrar" Nominated
Song of the Year Nominated
Best Tropical Song Won
2016 Record of the Year "La Bicicleta" (with Shakira) Won
Song of the Year Won
2018 Song of the Year "Robarte un Beso" Nominated
Best Contemporary Tropical Album Vives Won
2019 Best Long Form Music Video Déjame Quererte Nominated
2020 Album of the Year Cumbiana Nominated
Best Contemporary Tropical Album Won
Song of the Year "For Sale" (with Alejandro Sanz) Nominated
Best Tropical Song "Canción para Rubén" (with Rubén Blades) Won
"Búscame" (with Kany García) Nominated
Best Long Form Music Video El Mundo Perdido de Cumbiana Nominated
2021 Song of the Year "Canción Bonita" (with Ricky Martin) Nominated
Best Pop Song Nominated
2022 Song of the Year "Baloncito Viejo" (with Camilo) Pending
Record of the Year Pending
Best Pop Song Pending
Best Pop/Rock Song "Babel" (with Fito Páez) Pending
Best Contemporany Tropical Album Cumbiana II Pending
Best Tropical Song "El Parrandero (Masters en Parranda)" (with Sin Ánimo De Lucro, JBot & Tuti) Pending

Premios Nuestra Tierra

A Premio Nuestra Tierra is an accolade that recognize outstanding achievement in the Colombian music industry. Carlos Vives has received five awards from eleven nominations.

Year Category Nominated work Result
2014 Best Song of the Year "La Foto de los Dos" Won
Best Music Video Won
Best Mainstream Song Nominated
Best Tropical Pop Performance of the Year Nominated
Best Tropical Pop Performance of the Year "Bailar Contigo" Nominated
"Como Le Gusta a Tu Cuerpo" Nominated
Corazón Profundo Best Album of the Year Won
Best Tropical Pop Artist of the Year Himself Won
Best Mainstream Artist Nominated
Best Artist of the Year Won
Tweeter of the Year Nominated
2020 Best Tropical Artist Nominated
Audicence Favorite Artist Nominated
Best Tropical Song "Hasta Viejitos" (with Alejandro González) Nominated
Best Folk Song "Déjame Quererte" (with Cholo Valderrama, Cynthia Montaño, Elkin Robinson, Kombilesa Mi y Velo de Oza) Won
2021 Audicence Favorite Artist Himself Nominated
Best Folk Artist Won
Colombian Artist in the World Nominated
Album of the Year Cumbiana Nominated
Song of the Year "Cumbiana" Nominated
Best Folk Song Won
Audience Favorite Song Nominated
Best Tropical / Salsa / Cumbia Song
"Canción para Rubén" (with Rubén Blades) Nominated
Best Pop Song "For Sale" (with Alejandro Sanz) Nominated
Best Video "Cumbiana"

World Music Awards

The World Music Awards is an international awards show founded in 1989 that annually honors recording artists based on worldwide sales figures provided by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

Year Category Nominated work Result
2013 World's Best Album Corazón Profundo Nominated
World's Best Male Artists Carlos Vives Nominated
World's Best Live Act Nominated
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