...is celebrating 50 years in the music business.
…is recognized throughout the world as the creator of the Miami Sound,
a fusion of Cuban music, rock, jazz, Brazilian and Caribbean rhythms.
…won a GRAMMY® in 2006 for Best Salsa/Merengue Album for Son del Alma. …was nominated in 2007 for a Latin GRAMMY® for Best Salsa Album
for 35o Aniversario - En Vivo.
...has released more than 35 albums and is the composer
of over 100 songs which have been recorded by over 60 artists.
…has earned Platinum records for Oxígeno (1991) and Acuarela del Caribe
(1990), and Gold for Zarabanda (1985), South Beach (1993), Asere (1995) and Afro-disiac (2000).
… has produced albums for Rocío Jurado, Raphael, Oscar D’León, Celia Cruz, Magneto y dozens of international artists.
…was born in Consolación del Sur, a town in western Cuba,
in the province of Pinar del Río.
…in his childhood, listened to the music of Beny Moré, Glenn Miller,
Louis Armstrong, Little Richard, Elvis Presley and The Beatles, of whom
he considers himself a great connoisseur.
…left Cuba at the age of 14 through Operation Pedro Pan along with thousands of Cuban children who immigrated to the United States.
…has never accepted his departure from Cuba as definitive and, to this day, thinks his return is imminent. "My destiny is to be a musician not a politician, but I am committed to telling the sad reality of my people through my music.”
…has been married to internationally renowned singer Lissette
for over 40 years. He has six children and five grandchildren.
…launched his own music label, Latinum Music, in 1997,
after being signed by CBS and later Sony Music.
…has written several songs that are emblematic for the Cuban people,
but none more so than Nuestro Día (Ya Viene Llegando)
which has become a second national anthem for his compatriots
inside and out of the captive island.
…was awarded the United States Legion of Honor in 1976 for his humanitarian work. He was also recognized by UNICEF for his work with the Willy Chirino Foundation in 1996, as well as the Billboard Humanitarian Award.
…received a star on the Calle Ocho Walk of Fame
and was the Grand Marshall of Carnival Calle Ocho in 1993.
… holds the honor of having two streets named after him,
one in Miami and the other in Hialeah, Florida.
…received a doctorate from St. Thomas University in 2003.
…launched a worldwide tour in 2009 to promote his album Pa’lante.
The tour took him to Europe, Central and South America, and most major cities in the United States, culminating in a sold-out concert in Miami.
…released Willy Chirino: My Beatles Heart in 2011, an album dedicated
to the music of legendary British band The Beatles but with the Chirino sound. …in the summer of 2013, before an audience of 12,000 people, he was part of the Salsa Giants concert alongside Marc Anthony, Oscar D'León, Cheo Feliciano, Luis Enrique, Andy Montañez, José Alberto "El Canario" y Tito Nieves at the Curacao North Sea Jazz Festival. The concert was captured on a CD
produced by Sergio George which won a Latin GRAMMY® as Best Salsa Album and was nominated for a GRAMMY® and a Billboard Award®.
…received the Award for Musical Excellence from the Latin Recording Academy (Latin GRAMMY®) for Lifetime Achievement in 2014.
… released a Christmas CD called Navidad en Familia in 2018 recorded
with Lissette and their daughters. In the same year, he presented
for the first time a show by the same name that has become an annual event. …was invited to speak before the European Parliament in February of 2021 where he exhorted the artists of the world to stand in solidarity
with the Cuban people in the face of the repression they suffer.
…recorded the single Para Mi Viejo with Cuban singer Leoni Torres
in June of 2021. The song, composed by Chirino, was released
for Father's Day with great success.
…recorded the single Música, also composed by him, with another icon
of tropical music, Gilberto Santa Rosa. Both songs will be included
in his next album titled Sigo Pa'lante.
…began a one-year residency of sold-out shows at Flamingo Theater
in Miami on June 2021.
…after the events of July 11, 2021 in Cuba where the people turned
to the streets in search of freedom, recorded his composition ¡Que se vayan ya! along with Cuban singers, mostly of the urban genre, El Micha, Lenier,
El Chacal, Osmani García and Ms. Dayana.
…in October 2021 he received the John S. McCain Freedom Award
in Washington DC granted to the people of Cuba
by the International Republican Institute (IRI).
… won the Emmy® Award in 2022 for two episodes of the Legends of Exile series dedicated to his life and career produced by América TeVe.
With so many of his dreams come true, Chirino remains convinced
that “An artist should never stop dreaming”.