In love with Pau Latina
Three years ago, Paulina Rubio burst onto the U.S. Latin scene as a Mexican import with no assurances of success in the United States. But how things have changed.
On Feb. 10, Universal Music Latino released her Spanish-language album, “Pau-Latina,” as a worldwide priority. The project debuts this week at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart. It also bows at No. 1 in Mexico.
First single “Te Quise Tanto” is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks chart.
“This album was ready to be released last November, but we were very clear in that we wanted to launch 2004 with it,” says Jesus Lopez, chairman of Universal Music Latin America/Iberian Peninsula. “And this is the first time in her history that she has a No. 1 song in U.S. radio.”
The success was not a surprise. Rubio’s album “Paulina,” which originally was released in 2000 in Mexico, became the biggest-selling Spanish-language disc in the United States for 2001, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It has sold close to 2 million copies worldwide.
Rubio’s follow-up to “Paulina” was her English-language crossover bid, “Border Girl,” which sold 270,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and garnered worldwide attention.
It also caught the eye of Caresse Henry, Madonna’s manager, who began representing Rubio after that project.
With the new album, Rubio is targeting the Latin market, clearly acknowledging that her Latin fan base is what has carried her this far. Unlike most other Spanish-language albums by crossover acts, “Pau-Latina” doesn’t include any English-language tracks.
“Right now, I’m focused on this album and on this concert tour,” Rubio says, referring to the U.S. and Mexico tour she plans to launch this summer. “I’m very committed and very motivated.”
Henry says, “When you’re promoting a Spanish album, it gets very specific. I do think we’re getting more and more mainstream, but as mainstream as Paulina can get . She’s just not interested in doing what everyone else does“.
Rubio, a child star who once was a member of Mexican teeny-bopper group Timbiriche shed her diva image with “Paulina.”
In a departure for a pop recording, that album includes a regional Mexican track, “El Ultimo Adios.” The song opened the door for Rubio to get airplay at regional Mexican radio stations. This week, “Te Quise Tanto” is No. 1, thanks in part to airplay on 17 regional Mexican outlets, which are playing the original pop version and the norteno version of the track, mixed only for radio.
“Pau-Latina” includes “Ojala,” a song penned by grupero star Marco Antonio Solis, whose arrangement is similar to the “techno-mariachi” feel of “El Ultimo Adios.” Another track, “Quiero Cambiarme,” features Banda El Recodo.
“I was born in Mexico and raised in Spain,” Rubio says, explaining her mix of styles in perfect English. “It’s not something prefabricated.”
A second English-language album is already in the works for Rubio, and plans call for its release later this year. In all likelihood, Henry says, it will include some Spanglish, “because that’s who she is. This is a very commercial artist on a global level“.
Article by Leila Cobo