Edgardo Armando Franco, better known as El General, is a Panamanian former reggae artist considered by some to be one of the fathers of "Reggae Español". During the early 1990s, he was one of the artists who initiated the Spanish-language dancehall variety of reggae music. Early examples of this were the international and somewhat mainstream songs, "Te Ves Buena" and "Tu Pum Pum". Both songs, performed in Spanish deejaying style, were very successful in North America. After getting his foot in the door of the commercial market, many other Spanish-language dancehall reggae artists became famous in the mainstream as well. He has a unique, easy to listen to style of dance music and has produced many well-known songs all over Latin America. His musical works have become popular in Latin America over the last few years. This style is called reggae en Español, because he makes dancehall reggae music with Spanish-language lyrics and is an early precursor to reggaeton.
El General began singing and composing songs at the age of 12 in his home in Río Abajo, Panama. Upon receiving a scholarship, the young artist moved to the United States to study business administration, and became a professional accountant. He started his musical career when he was 19 years old, and for 17 years, his albums achieved gold status 32 times and platinum 17 times. Popular reggae and reggaeton music in Panama was (and is still) called plena.
Songs like "Muevelo" (1991), "Tu Pum Pum" (1991), "Rica y Apretadita" and "Te Ves Buena" are among his greatest hits. In 1992, El General received an MTV award for Best Latin Video with the great success of "Muevelo" produced by Pablo "Pabanor" Ortiz and Erick "More" Morillo. In 1993, El General won the Rap Artist of the Year Award at the Lo Nuestro Awards.
His breakout performance came in 1994, when he was featured on the song "Robi-Rob's Boriqua Anthem" from C+C Music Factory's album Anything Goes. During this time, he started working with Chino Rodriguez, an entrepreneur in the Latin music industry, who convinced Franco a.k.a. El General (as his close friends and family would call him), to perform a salsa song before his performance of "Robi-Rob's Boriqua Anthem". The performance was at the Madison Square Garden produced by Ralph Mercado (owner of RMM Records and who always produced large Latino events in New York). The fans were surprised that El General (Franco) sang a salsa song. Ralph Mercado gave El General more time in the tight schedule of stage allotment to do the salsa song before the scheduled performance of "Boriqua Anthem". Chino Rodriguez was able to convince Ralph Mercado to allow more time so that El General could surprise his fans.
- No Me Va a Matar (1988)
- Estás Buena (1989)
- Muevelo Con el General (1991)
- "Son Bow" (1991)
- "No Más Guerra" (1991)
- El Poder del General (1992)
- Es Mundial (1994)
- Clubb 555 (1995)
- Rapa Pan Pan (1997)
- Move It Up (1998)
- Grandes Éxitos (1998)
- Colección Original (1998)
- Serie 2000 (2000)
- Back to the Original (2001)
- IS BACK (2001)
- General De Fiesta (2002)
- El General: The Hits (2003)
- To' Rap-Eao (2003)
- La Ficha Clave (2004)
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