Arthur Hanlon

Arthur Hanlon is an American pianist, songwriter and arranger who is widely known in the Latin music realm and has had multiple hits on the Billboard charts [1] [2]. Born to Irish-American parents, he hails from Detroit, Michigan, but found his calling in Latin music and has received widespread recognition in that realm, becoming the first pianist to reach the Billboard Latin airplay charts in more than a decade and the first to have a No. 1 on Billboard's Tropical Airplay chart.[1] Arthur’s most current work includes a series of collaborations all under the Sony label. In 2017 he released “No Tuve La Culpa” (with Chocquibtown) whose video features Arthur playing piano on the back of a moving semi truck along with Chocquibtown through the mountains of Colombia.[2]  2018 saw the release of “Aura” (Ozuna Ft. Arthur Hanlon), and the video has garnered more that 46 Million views[3]. In 2019 Arthur released “Si Tu Te Vas” (with Fonseca), Balada Para Adelina and "Como Suena El Piano” with the Cuban hiphop group Orishas. The iconic video was filmed in Cuba and celebrates the musical cross culturalism that is so prevalent in all of Arthur’s work. His debut project with Sony was Viajero, a CD and DVD documenting his travels through eight countries—Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Mexico and Cuba. Arthur recorded at every stop an iconic Latin track from that country with the best studio musicians to be found in each and his travels were documented by a traveling film crew. Viajero mini-docs premiered on American Airlines flights and the album Viajero, the first for Arthur on Sony Music Latin, was released in mid-2016. The documentary later went on to be a Telemundo television special.

Arthur Hanlon
OriginDetroit, Michigan
  • Composer
  • pianist
Years active2001–present
Associated acts

Prior to Viajero, Hanlon released Encanto del Caribe, a CD and DVD of a live concert performance filmed at Puerto Rico's historic San Cristobal Castle featuring Hanlon on piano with several guest artists: Marc Anthony, Laura Pausini, Natalia Jiménez, Cheo Feliciano, Bernie Williams and Ana Isabelle (though she does not appear on both the DVD and CD but credited on both). Encanto del Caribe was also produced as a special for public television and has aired throughout the United States. The album, out on Universal Music Latin, spent five weeks on the top 10 of Billboard's Latin Pop Albums charts. The making of Encanto del Caribe marked the first time ever filming took place in San Cristobal Castle, a federal monument.


The third of seven children, Hanlon started playing the piano at six, and at 15, was already playing professional gigs in Detroit with ensembles that included the Flip Jackson Band. Hanlon studied at piano at Michigan State University and would eventually get his master's degree in piano performance from Manhattan School of Music in New York City.

While in New York, he encountered Latin music head-on, and regularly played Latin club gigs while at the same time studying the music of classical composers.

Hanlon's first album was an independent recording of purely original material, appropriately titled Encuentros. Licensed by Max Music and distributed by Universal, Encuentros brought Hanlon to the attention of Fonovisa Records, the leading indie Latin label in the country at the time, with whom he signed in 2000.

Hanlon's first release with Fonovisa Records was El Piano Amarillo (The Yellow Piano) and eclectic mix of Latin, dance and pop fare produced by Colombian producers Estéfano and Julio Reyes (of Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez fame).

He followed up with 11 Números Uno, a more classically-tinged album of covers of Latin standards plus one of his original compositions.

He consolidated himself as an instrumentalist with 2005's La Gorda Linda, an album of mostly original material that featured a handful of guest artists, including jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, salsa star Tito Nieves and Mexican singer Ana Bárbara. The album was produced by Grammy winners Sergio George and Kike Santander and was a multiple finalist for the 2006 Billboard Latin Music Awards, in which Hanlon performed.

In 2006, Hanlon was signed by EMI, and released Mecanomanía, an album of covers of Spanish pop trio Mecano, set to chill-out arrangements.

The video for the album's first single, "Hijo de la Luna," was shot at the Baldwin piano factory, marking the first time in the company's nearly 100-year history that a music video was shot in its installations.[4]

In 2007, Hanlon toured the United States with Puerto Rican pop star Chayanne, opening a series of arena dates for the singer.

In 2009, Hanlon signed to Universal Latin. His first album under the label was "Piano Sin Fronteras" which Hanlon wrote or co-wrote in its entirety and features collaborations with some of the top names in Latin music, including Colombian rock star Juanes, Italian diva Laura Pausini, Sergio Vallín—guitarist for rock group Maná, Brazilian superstar Alexandre Pires, Venezuelan icon Ricardo Montaner, pop star Luis Fonsi and Chilean singer Myriam Hernandez.

Hanlon has also recorded several Christmas singles that have been used for different campaigns. "Esta Navidad," which Hanlon wrote in 2008 and which features Puerto Rican singer Janina on vocals, was used by the Univision Network for their Christmas on-air campaign in several markets, including Miami, New York and Chicago. The song was also released as a single to radio. In 2010, Hanlon wrote and recorded a second Christmas single, "Navidad, Navidad," which he recorded with Venezuelan duo Chino y Nacho and Mexican singer Dulce Maria on vocals. The song is a Spanish version adaptation of Jingle Bells. It was also used by Univision for its Christmas campaign on several major Latin markets.

In 2011, Hanlon traveled to Puerto Rico to film "Encanto del Caribe" at Castillo San Cristóbal a historic fortress in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The show was being filmed as a special for public television. Hanlon's guests included Marc Anthony, Laura Pausini, Natalia Jimenez, Bernie Williams, Cheo Feliciano and Ana Isabelle. Hanlon performed on his blue grand piano accompanied by a 40-piece orchestra conducted by Puerto Rican arranger and conductor Cucco Pena. The special was produced by SBS Entertainment, a U.S.-based Latin media company and funded by the Puerto Rican government. The CD/DVD "Encanto del Caribe" was released in August, 2012 by Universal Music Latino.

In 2016, Hanlon signed with Sony Music Latin and embarked on an ambitious video/audio project where he filmed and recorded iconic Latin songs from seven countries: Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and the United States.

"Viajero," Hanlon's latest album, was released throughout Latin America and Spain in 2016.

Musical HighlightsEdit

With his 2005 hit, "La Gorda Linda," Hanlon became the first pianist, and the first non-Latin, to reach No. 1 on the tropical airplay chart of Billboard Magazine, according to an article published by Billboard on April 26, 2006, coinciding with the Billboard Latin Music Awards. Hanlon was the first pianist to enter the Billboard Latin charts in more than a decade, according to the magazine. "La Gorda Linda," which he penned, was also on the top ten of the "Billboard Top Latin Songs" chart and a subsequent remix by DJ Norty Cotto spent weeks on the Billboard dance charts. As a result of "La Gorda Linda," Hanlon was a double finalist for the 2006 Latin Billboard Music Awards in the Tropical Song of the year and Dance Track of the year categories.[5]

In a memorable moment, Hanlon played "No Me Llames Extranjero," a song about immigrants, with Fonsi and Montaner during the 2006 Latin Billboard Music Awards which aired on Telemundo.

Arthur was also nominated for a New York Emmy Award for his jingle "Esta Navidad" (This Christmas), based on his single of the same name, which was picked up by Univision as its Christmas jingle and spot for 2008.

Also established in the mainstream instrumental realm, Arthur was a featured guest on pianist Jim Brickman's "Beautiful World" CD and PBS special and toured the U.S. with Italian star Laura Pausini in 2009.

Hanlon returned to the Billboard charts in the Summer of 2009 with "Ya Te Olvide," a single from "Piano Sin Fronteras" featuring Ricardo Montaner. To date, Hanlon has had four major label releases, all under Latin labels, making him an anomaly in the pop music world. Aside from his own albums, his history of recorded collaborations includes Gloria Estefan (in her album "Unwrapped"), Arturo Sandoval (with whom he recorded "Marianela," from Hanlon's album "La Gorda Linda"), Crooked Stylo (with whom he co-wrote the track "Don Miguel," from the album "Malhablados"), Prince Royce with whom he recorded "Dulce;" and Natalie Cole who featured him on her version of "Oye como va."

Hanlon also composed and produced "La Gota de la Vida" (The Drop of Life), a song recorded by 46 artists to benefit Cancer Research Center City of Hope and whose video was directed by Simon Brand.[6]

La Gota de la Vida (The Drop of Life)Edit

In 2010, Hanlon was asked to write a song in Spanish to be used by cancer center City of Hope to raise awareness on the importance of bone marrow donation. Hanlon penned "La Gota de la Vida" (The Drop of Life) and ultimately recorded it with dozens of Hispanic stars, including Enrique Iglesias, Gloria Estefan, Franco de Vita, David Bisbal, Jenni Rivera, Oscar D'Leon, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Luis Fonsi, Marco Antonio Solis and more. A video, directed by Colombian video and film director Simon Brand, was shot in several U.S. cities, including Miami and Las Vegas. "La Gota de la Vida" was officially premiered at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles with a live performance featuring Hanlon on piano and several of the artists who sang on the video.

Encanto del CaribeEdit

Hanlon's last project for Universal was "Encanto del Caribe" (Caribbean Fantasy), a live concert recorded at historic San Cristobal Castle in Puerto Rico with guest artists Marc Anthony, Laura Pausini, Natalia Jimenez, New York Yankee great Bernie Williams on the guitar, Cheo Feliciano, and Ana Isabelle (though she does not appear on both the DVD and CD but credited on both). A UNESCO World Heritage Site, San Cristobal allowed filming inside its premises for the first time in history with "Encanto del Caribe." The special aired on public television stations across the United States and a CD/DVD was released by Universal August 21, 2012. "Encanto del Caribe" features original instrumental recordings composed by Hanlon as well as Latin standards. The album was produced by Grammy winner Julio Reyes Copello and the musical direction of the show was under Puerto Rican bandleader Cucco Pena.

Memorable moments in the special include Hanlon's performance of Puerto RIcan classic "En Mi Viejo San Juan" with superstar Marc Anthony on vocals.[7]

In 2013, Hanlon released "I'll Be There (Alli Estare)," a bilingual cover of the Jackson Five classic with up and coming bachata star Karlos Rose on vocals. The track spent 16 weeks on the Top 10 of Billboard's Tropical Airplay chart.


Year Album Label
1999 "Encuentros" Max Music & Entertainment
2001 "El Piano Amarillo" Fonovisa
2004 "11 Números Uno"
2005 "La Gorda Linda"
2006 "Mecanomanía" EMI
2008 "Esta Navidad - Single" Universal Latin
2009 "Piano Sin Fronteras"
"Carol of the Bells - Single"
2010 "Navidad Navidad - Single"
2012 "Encanto del Caribe (CD/DVD)"
2013 "I'll Be There (feat. Karlos Rose) - Single"
2016 "Viajero" Sony Music Latin
2017 "No Tuve La Culpa" (with Chocquibtown) Single Sony Music Latin
2017 “Aura" (Ozuna Ft. Arthur Hanlon) Single Sony Music Latin
2018 "Si Tu Te Vas" (with Fonseca) Single Sony Music Latin
2019 "Balada Para Adelina” Single Sony Music Latin
2019 “Como Suena El Piano” (with Orishas) Single Sony Music Latin


  1. ^ Billboard Magazine, September 21, 2009.
  2. ^ Arthur Hanlon, ChocQuibTown - No Tuve la Culpa (Video Oficial), retrieved 2020-01-14
  3. ^ Ozuna - Aura (Feat. Arthur Hanlon) (Audio Oficial), retrieved 2020-01-14
  4. ^ Gibson/Baldwin official website.
  5. ^ Billboard Magazine, April 26, 2006.
  6. ^ La Gota de la Vida -
  7. ^ Los Angeles Times, August 24, 2012.

External linksEdit