Spanish pop singer Malú made her smash hit debut as a teenager in the late '90s and continued to remain successful over the years that followed. Born María Lucía Sánchez Benítez on March 12, 1982 in Madrid, Spain, she was the niece of legendary flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucía. In 1998, while still a teenager, she made her full-length debut with Aprendiz, on which she collaborated with singer/songwriter Alejandro Sanz on a couple songs, including the smash hit title track. Firmly establishing her as one of the most exciting new voices on the Spanish pop scene, Aprendiz reached the Top Ten of the albums chart and spawned several singles in addition to the title track. Her second album, Cambiarás, was released one year later; although it failed to reach the Top Ten, it spawned another bunch of singles.
Malú rebounded with her third album, 2001's Esta Vez, which marked a break with Jesús Yanes, the producer of her first two full-length efforts. Recorded in Miami with producer Estéfano, who had recently worked with Paulina Rubio on her commercial blockbuster Paulina, Esta Vez reached the Top Five of the Spanish albums chart and spawned five singles. (All but one of the singles were penned by Estéfano.) Fourth album Otra Piel (2003), a collaboration with producer Kiko Campos, was another Top Ten hit. The live album Por una Vez (2004) came next. Recorded live in Madrid, it includes guest appearances by Alejandro Sanz, Antonio Orozco, and Paco de Lucía.
During the mid-2000s, Malú teamed up with producers Mauri Stern and Graeme Pleeth for a pair of albums, 2005's Malú and 2006's Desafío, before releasing the greatest-hits compilation Gracias in 2007 and taking a break. She returned in 2009 with Vive, an album of full-throttle rock songs produced by Stern. Obviously refreshed by her hiatus, that year she also produced a limited-edition release entitled Malu by Yo Dona, then swiftly returned late in 2010 with a proper studio album, Guerra Fría. The album not only hit number one but charted in Spain during all of 2011 and much of 2012 -- an astonishing 80 weeks on the album chart. An "intimate" live concert at La Casona in Mexico City showcasing songs from that album was recorded and released in 2011 as the audio/video set Íntima Guerra Fría.
Dual, released in 2012, compiled her greatest duet hits but also included six new songs, with featured guests like Alejandro Sanz, Rocio Jurado, Pablo Alboran, and Miguel Bosé, among others. It reached number 12 in Spain, but charted for over a year.
In 2013, Malú spent time on her ninth studio album, Sí, with producer Armando Ávila. Released in October, the album debuted at number one in Spain, and Malú began yet another long run on the charts; as with Guerra Fría and Dual, this one lasted over a year as well, with the result being another platinum album. ~ Jason Birchmeier
- Madrid, Spain
- Pop Latino
- March 15, 1982