DULUTH - The name Juanes may not ring a bell, but the Colombian rocker's appearance at the Arena at Gwinnett Center on Wednesday won't be the first time he's visited Georgia.
After three long years, Juanes returns to Atlanta. His last visit was March 8, 2005, at the Tabernacle on his Mi Sangre Tour for his third album.
All Juanes' songs are in Spanish, yet he has transcended language barriers not only in Europe, but in Asia, where his Mi Sangre album sold more than 1 million copies. His music is a mix of rock with Colombian rhythms such as Trova and Cumbia. His most popular songs include "A Dios Le Pido," "La Paga," "La Camisa Negra," "Volverte a Ver" and his most recent hit "Me Enamora."
Juanes, short for Juan Esteban, has always written his own songs, which have "feisty rhythms of Cumbia, combined with dollops of pop and steady helpings of slick '80s rock" according to New York Daily News.
In his latest album, La Vida Es un Ratico ("Life is But a Moment"), the song "Minas Piedras" raises awareness about the land mines in Colombia, which affect more than 1,000 people annually.
Juanes does more than write songs to raise awareness, he's tried to decrease the number of land mine victims by establishing the Mi Sangre Foundation.
He began his career at 15 years old, with his band Ekhymosis, which recorded seven albums. But in 1999, he launched his solo career. Juanes traveled to Los Angeles in hopes of signing with a record label. His wishes were fulfilled the same year when he signed with Surco Universal Records. He's since earned 12 Latin Grammy Awards, nine MTV Awards, seven BMI Awards and eight Premio Lo Nuestro Awards. TIME has named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and the Los Angeles Times declared him "the single most important figure of the past decade in Latin Music."
His La Vida World Tour began March 6 at Madison Square Garden to a sold-out audience. However, his tour did not stop him from going to Colombia and giving his "Peace With No Borders" concert at the frontier between Cucuta, Colombia and San Antonio de Tachira, Venezuela. Juanes organized this free concert to bring peace among his native Colombia and its neighbors, Venezuela and Ecuador. He resumed his tour March 30 in Washington D.C., and he will continue touring in the United States by performing in the Arena at Gwinnett Center April 9.