Up close and personal with Marc Anthony

Marc Anthony almost retired at the age of 5 because he made his brother’s girlfriend cry, with his voice. The salsa singer got personal during…

Marc Anthony speaks at the Billboard Latin Music Conference on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at the JW Marriott Marquis in Miami, Fla.. (Jessica Lucia Roiz/VOXXI)

Marc Anthony almost retired at the age of 5 because he made his brother’s girlfriend cry, with his voice.

The salsa singer got personal during a Q & A at the Billboard Latin Music Conference.

Not only did he talk about his booming career, the success of “Vivir Mi Vida,” his favorite things, but also a possible English album in the works.

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Iconic Q & A Session with Marc Anthony

The one-on-one was led by Leila Cobos, who touched on the the iconic salsa singer’s past, present and future.

Leila Cobo: When did you discover you have a special voice?

Marc Anthony: I started singing with my dad at age 3 and I would always imitate him. It was something natural for me, and I realized it when I sang in my house during a family party and my brother’s girlfriend began to cry. I didn’t like to make an adult cry, but they explained to me that it wasn’t something wrong. I almost retired at age 5.

Cobo: When you began singing salsa, did you ever think it would be a mess?

Anthony: I never doubted it at all, I was surprised that my Spanish was that decent.

Marc Anthony talks at the Billboard Latin Music Conference.

Marc Anthony gets personal with Leila Cobos during Iconic Q & A session at Billboard Latin Music Conference Wednesday, April 23, 2014 in Miami, Fla. (Jessica Lucia Roiz/VOXXI)

Cobo: Do you remember any of your first gigs?

Anthony: I was booked in Chicago for like $500 bucks, but I ended up with $200. I know it’s disgusting *laughs*. I go to this show and I didn’t even have a band, I went with a cassette. The cassette snaps during the first song and people didn’t know who I was, so I began to sing a cappella and people started clapping. I remember that one. I hated being on stage. Once I started singing salsa the fear went away, I figured it out and I love it.

Cobo: Many times you cry on stage, why?

Anthony: It’s personal to me, there’s times that you don’t want to go on stage for many reasons. Life happens, life doesn’t stop because I am on stage. I have gotten emotional because I still can’t believe the support my fans give me. I ask myself “when did I become the luckiest man in the world.” My fans take care of me.

Cobo: Did you ever think “Vivir Mi Vida” would be this successful? It’s your longest running hit, ever.

Anthony: Everyone thinks their record is the bomb – nobody sets out to make a terrible record. I had trouble with the style of the song, it’s not my style because my songs are a bit more heavy. I knew it’d be a hit, but hearing people I trust say “I don’t know,” that’s when I doubted. Now I am laughing in their face saying “I told you so!”

Cobo: What did Cheo Feliciano teach you?

Anthony: Cheo taught me how to be happy and how to smile. I told Sergio George “because of you, he [Cheo] left working, having released a successful album and touring,” he felt useful. Now there’s another salsero in heaven making everyone gozar.

Cobo: Why was it important for you to open the orphanage with Maestro Cares Foundation in the Dominican Republic?

Anthony: Those children were sleeping on the floor, it impacted me as a father. It’s sad that they have to live without the basics: mom, dad, a bed, a home. That’s why each children now has their own bed and own closet, so they can have their own space, dignity and privacy. We are working in opening an orphanage in Barranquilla, Colombia and three in Mexico.

Cobo: I heard you are working in an English album.

Anthony: It’s in the process. I don’t even have a record label for my English album. I am still inventing, finding melodies, lyrics, the content. All I know is that it will be a pop album.

Marc Anthony at the Latin Billboard Conference.

Marc Anthony signs autographs after Billboard Latin Music Conference Q & A session on Wednesday April 23, 2014 in Miami, Fla. (Jessica Lucia Roiz/VOXXI)

Besides salsa he also likes…

  • Earthly happiness? Living a full life and a well-balanced life
  • Hero of fiction: I used to love Superman
  • Character in history: Abraham Lincoln
  • Musician: Ruben Blades
  • TV Show: Survivor
  • Movie Line: “Say goodnight to the bad guy” from Scarface
  • Quality in a man: honor
  • Quality in a woman: loyalty
  • Virtue of yourself: I don’t have any
  • Thing you can’t stand: arrogance
  • Motto: Those who know, don’t say. Those who say, don’t know.
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