One of the mantras Raphael has in his life is that the past does not exist. A bucolic way of saying that he still has a long way to go despite having been on stage for more than sixty years, a professional achievement virtually unique in Spain (and few other parts of the world) for those still in business.
I am sorry to say that we will have to confront Raphael on the day he turns 80 (precisely this May 5th): his past not only exists, but it is a legacy in the form of a trunk, with a collection of songs that make up the soundtrack of many people and several generations.
Fireproof. This would be one of the qualifications that best define the state of mind and the career of a singer who has been able to take care of and pamper his vocal instrument impeccably and with an uncommon willpower.
Perhaps because he learned from a very young age what it was like to have to earn a living to survive.
With a bricklayer father and a mother who sometimes worked cleaning other houses, Rafael Martos Sanchez Since he discovered a cinema it was very clear to him that he wanted to be an artist and help his family out of a precarious situation, which at some point in his life had to go and live in Carabanchel forced by his financial situation.
Before that Raphael with the h- letter appeared when he signed his first contract with Philips with the intention of internationalizing its name– The artist born in Linares (Jaén) had his first professional jobs as a home delivery boy or as a melon seller.
But inside her throbbed those emotions that she had seen in that cinema marquee, when she had run away from home for the first time and returned, at one o’clock in the morning, his mother slapped him not to do it again.
Late. That child made him vibrate and dream intensely. The rest was a chain reaction thanks to his tireless work to get on stage. He took singing lessons and Paco Gordillo entered his life, who would be his first representative. With him he shared the success of the Benidorm festival and became the first great modern artist of the 60s.
The arrival of the master
Later the master came Manuel Alejandro, the perfect “tailor” for the artist who has composed most of the songs in his repertoire. There was a time when the three lived in the same building on different floors.
And Raphael’s international fame came thanks to his two participations in the Eurovision Song Contest (1966 and 1967) and an international concert tour. In El Patio, Mexico, it is where the artist dressed entirely in black for the first time and remained so for the rest of his career.
The artist has made of his gestures, his scenic strength, his vocal potential and his movements a little politean unmistakable seal such as singer. In Las Vegas he suffered his first serious health accident with mental exhaustion which forced him to stop.
Raphael broke up, but at that time he had the great support of his current wife, a Natalia Figueroa, aristocrat and journalist, with whom he consolidated a relationship that no one bet on. They got married in Venice in 1972 and formed a family with three children, Jacobo, Manuel and Alejandra. The first two are dedicated to the music sector.
His addiction to alcohol ended in severe liver problems and the liver transplant operation he underwent on April 1, 2003. The second birthday for an artist who was reborn that day and, far from throwing in the towel , has reinvented itself over the years to continue perpetrating the religion of Raphaelitism.
And the singer warns: “The best is yet to come.” Yes. Today he is 80 years old.
Raffaello had a moment of enormous success in Argentina, between the second half of the 60s and all of the 70s. Then he became a classic, almost another Argentine, but one who knew how to sit at the table of fame and popularity that he shared with artists such as Sandro, Palito Ortega and Leonardo Favio.
His performances in television series are remembered, such as the circular Saturdays of Mancera, where he generated explosions of euphoria in each of his presentations, which then led to completely packed theaters such as the Opera or the Gran Rex.
Some of their hits are i’m the only one, I close my eyes, Whatever they say and more here, in the decade of the 90s, Scandal.
His last visit to Buenos Aires was in May 2022, when he presented his latest album at Luna Park, Raphael 6.0.
On that occasion he had the following dialogue with Clarin:
Did you ever think it would last this long?
-It’s just that I never thought about it. Even today, when I’m old enough to think about these things. I think the greatest achievement of my life will be reaching a pretty old age with my tone of voice intact.
And regarding her present, she added: “Now I sing better. And I also think I’m a better person. I treat others better, I think better than others. I used to be a little more selfish, and now I’m not anymore. I’ve become a I’m a good guy, right now I’m a good guy.”
Charles Hurd is an entertainment journalist for News Rebeat. He brings a fresh and engaging voice to the world of pop culture, covering the latest developments in film, television, music, and more.