The Spanish crooner and father of eight tells us what it's like to be Enrique's dad - and why he never deserved his playboy reputation
When you've sold more than 300 million records worldwide, you can afford to uncork the odd £800 bottle of red wine - as Julio Iglesias does when HELLO! visits him at his home in Marbella.
Splitting his time between this sprawling hill-top estate and an equally stylish pad in Miami, his main home, the Spanish crooner lives with his second wife, Dutch model Miranda Rijnsburger, mother of his five younger children, aged from five to 14. He also has three grown-up children - including pop star sons Enrique and Julio Jr - from his first marriage, to Isabel Preysler.
A former goalkeeper for Real Madrid, Julio only got involved in music after a car accident ended his sporting career. Now, as he approaches his 69th birthday, he is celebrating with his album, 1, a re-recording of 32 of his early songs.
Is it strange to go back to your old songs and do them again?
When I started singing I was more a writer than a performer, but crooners tend to get better with age, so I decided to do this.
Do you think you're happier now than you were then?
I was only thinking about surviving after my accident, not happiness. Now I have an incredible family, I do concerts everywhere from Finland to China and the only thing that's different is I don't run up steps like I used to.
You have a real reputation as a ladies' man...
I learned a lot from women. I like the smell of women, I like the feel of women, I like the sense of generosity of women; I love the love of a woman and because I was a singer, beautiful girls look at you. But I never abused it I've had eight kids, which must mean I really love women. You can't have kids if you're a playboy. I'm not a playboy. I never played with women. I loved women.
So all those stories about you with thousands of women...?
I was not that guy. I remember waking up in London one day and my manager sent me up a newspaper with something about me and 3,000 women. That's not a true story. I've had a lot of loves in my life, but millions of people have had more.
Did anyone ever break your heart?
Oh, for sure! I wouldn't have written the songs that I wrote if not. I've never been a nice-looking guy.
I was always skinny, but I was able to get to people through my spirit You don't have to be top of the class to become president of the country.
The Iglesias family have become a musical dynasty, with Enrique and Julio Jr...
And the tiny ones! They play guitar like you wouldn't believe. Incredible.
Do younger people just think of you as Enrique's dad?
I don't mind. He's an amazing artist, a champion and my son. It's in the genes. When I see Enrique and we kiss each other, I see brightness in him. If they call me the father of Enrique, I'm happy.
When you're in Miami, do you hang out with fellow Latinos such as Ricky Martin and Gloria Estefan?
With Gloria, a little. We don't have dinner every week, but I see her and her husband [Emilio]. But Ricky's like my son. When he was young he used to come and see my concerts. Maybe I was the first Latino artist in history who became global and it's not like they want to be Julio Iglesias, but they saw that if I can do it, they can do it
Do you go to parties?
No. I bet I've only been to three or four in the last 30 years and they would have been industry parties, like the Grammys or the Oscars.
I prefer to have a party at home with my kids.
Do you get drunk?
No, I get happy. I love red wine but I have never got drunk in my life.
I don't want to lose control. And I didn't want to do anything that would affect my throat.
You knew Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson. Can you understand how prescription or illegal drugs get out of control?
It happens to so many people, not just famous ones. It's a sickness and if it gets out of control you can kill yourself. I really loved Michael. He once lived in my house for a month making an album and when I heard that he was going to do the 50 shows in England, I thought he'd gone crazy. He had a good family: they loved him and he loved them. But I'm not anyone to judge anything but my own life.
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