Joan Manuel Serrat Teresa (Catalan pronunciation: [ʒuˈam mənuˈɛl səˈrat]; born 27 December 1943) is a Spanish musician, singer, and composer. He is considered one of the most important figures of modern, popular music in both Spanish and Catalan languages.

Joan Manuel Serrat
Background information
Birth nameJoan Manuel Serrat Teresa
Born (1943-12-27) 27 December 1943 (age 80)
Barcelona, Spain
  • Musician
  • singer
  • composer
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Years active1965–2022
Labels Edit this at Wikidata

Serrat's lyrical style has been influenced by other poets such as Mario Benedetti, Antonio Machado, Miguel Hernández, Rafael Alberti, Federico García Lorca, Pablo Neruda, and León Felipe. He has also recorded songs by Violeta Parra and Víctor Jara. Serrat was one of the pioneers of what is known in Catalan as "Nova Cançó" (Nueva Canción). Joan Manuel Serrat is also known by the names "El noi del Poble-sec" and "El Nano".





Joan Manuel Serrat Teresa was born 27 December 1943 in the Poble-sec neighbourhood of Barcelona, to members of a working family. His father, Josep Serrat, was a Catalan anarchist affiliated with the CNT and his mother, Ángeles Teresa, a housewife, was from Belchite, Zaragoza in the region of Aragon. His childhood and environment in his neighbourhood greatly impacted him, as a great number of his songs described Catalonia after the Spanish Civil War (examples are "La Carmeta", "La tieta" y "El drapaire" as stereotypical characters from his neighbourhood).

Early career


Serrat became involved with music at the age of 17 when he obtained his first guitar to which he dedicated one of his earliest songs, "Una guitarra". In the early 1960s, the young artist participated in a pop band, playing along with classmates at Barcelona's Agronomy School and performing mainly Beatles songs and Italian 'pop-of-the-era' songs translated to Spanish. In 1965, while singing in a radio show called Radioscope, host Salvador Escamilla helped him secure a record deal with local label Edigsa, from there joining the group Els Setze Jutges which defended the Catalan language during the Spanish State. In that same year, he recorded his first EP Una guitarra with the songs Una guitarra, Ella em deixa, La mort de l'avi and El mocador. In 1966 appeared his second EP Ara que tinc vint anys with the songs Ara que tinc vint anys, Quan arriba el fred, El drapaire and Sota un cirerer florit. In 1967 his first LP was released Ara que tinc vint anys which included some songs from previous EP recordings, as well as Balada per a un trobador, Els vells amants and Els titelles. Joan Manuel Serrat's first live stage performance in 1967 at the Palau de la Música Catalana, served to establish him as one of the most important artists inside the Nova cançó movement in Catalonia.

The following year, Televisión Española (TVE) entered Serrat in the Eurovision Song Contest 1968 to sing "La, la, la", but he demanded to sing it in Catalan, to which the broadcaster did not agree. This would be the first time he would come into conflict with the language politics of Francoist Spain, because of his decision to sing in his native language. Ultimately, Serrat participation was cancelled, and was hurriedly replaced by Massiel, who went on to win the contest with her performance in Spanish.[1][2][3]



Serrat's first son Queco was born in 1969, and in that same year he made his first tour to South America. He released an album containing songs with texts of Antonio Machado, a well-known Spanish poet of late 19th-early 20th century. This album brought him immediate fame in all Spain and Latin America though, in spite of this, his decision to sing in Spanish was criticized in some Catalan nationalist circles. Regarding this and other times when his choice of language (sometimes Spanish, sometimes Catalan) raised controversy on either side of the political sphere, he once explained: "I sing better in the language they forbid me." He participated and won the song festival of Rio de Janeiro in 1970 with his single "Penélope".[4]

The release of the Mediterráneo LP in 1971 consolidated the artist's reputation worldwide. During that year, Serrat sang a seminal concert at the theater of the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus, which was highly influential in the Puerto Rican music community of the time, and which had repercussions as late as 2006.

In late 1974, Serrat was exiled in Mexico due to his condemnation of capital punishment in Francoist Spain. It wasn't until Franco's death on 20 November 1975 that Serrat was able to return to his homeland. In 1976, Joan Manuel Serrat was acclaimed for the first time in the United States, while performing in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York.



1995 to present


In January 1995, the Spanish government awarded him a medal for his contribution to Hispanic culture. That same year, a tribute album called Serrat, eres único was made to honour his career, featuring artists such as Diego Torres, Ketama, Rosario Flores, Joaquín Sabina, and Antonio Flores. In the same year, he toured "Nadie es Perfecto", through several countries in Latin America. In February 1995, Serrat gave a concert at University of Lima, in Lima, Peru. On 28 November 1998, Serrat performed the Cant del Barça during the FC Barcelona Centenary festival at the Camp Nou.

In 2000, the Spanish Association of Authors and Editors (SGAE) awarded him with one of ten Medals of the Century.

Serrat revealed in October 2004 that he had been undergoing treatment for cancer of the urinary bladder and in November that year he had to cancel a tour of Latin America and the US in order to undergo surgery in Barcelona, where he still lives. His signature song "Mediterráneo" was selected as the most important song of the 20th century in Spain.

His recovery was satisfactory, and in 2005 he went on tour again ("Serrat 100×100") around Spain and Latin America with his lifelong producer and arranger, Ricard Miralles. During the tour Serrat played symphonic versions of his songs with local symphony orchestras.

A second volume of Serrat, eres único was also released this year, featuring Alejandro Sanz, Estopa, and Pasión Vega. Around the same time, Cuban artists such as Silvio Rodríguez, Pablo Milanés, Chucho Valdés, and Ibrahim Ferrer came together to make another tribute CD, Cuba le canta a Serrat.

By 2006, the theater of the University of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras where Serrat sang in 1970 had undergone a multimillion-dollar renovation, after being closed for ten years. The university planned to reopen the theater with Serrat as its first popular culture act, thus recalling his first performance there. However, student protests over the university conceding private entities control over some theater administration functions ended up in a physical confrontation between some student leaders and patrons attending the theater's inaugural gala, the day before Serrat's first scheduled performance. As a result, the concerts had to be postponed and changed to another venue. Serrat felt particularly uneasy about the whole situation; when he was pressed to take sides in the controversy he opted to remain neutral.

In 2006, Serrat also released Mô, his first album completely in Catalan in 17 years. The album title refers to the city of Mahón, capital of the Spanish island of Menorca, where he likes to get away from it all during long touring seasons.

In 2017 and 2018, he carried a tour named "Mediterraneo da Capo" to commemorate the 47th anniversary of his mythical record "Mediterraneo".

Billboard of the Olympia (Paris), on 12 May 2018 –tour "Mediterraneo da Capo"–.
Serrat during his concert in the Olympia (Paris), on 12 May 2018.

Serrat is a part owner of the Mas Perinet winery producing both DO Montsant and DOC Priorat wines in La Morera de Montsant.



There are many artists and authors of songs that have paid homage to the figure and work of Joan Manuel Serrat. Among the most noteworthy are Ahí te mando mi guitarra, Juan Manuel, composed by Manuel Alejandro and played by Blanca Villa while Serrat was in exile for his statements against the death penalty; the recent Maldito Serrat by the Argentine singer-songwriter Ignacio Copani; Mi primo el Nano, composed by his friend Joaquín Sabina, and the Canción para un maño, a song by Georges Brassens adapted by Paco Ibáñez.

Apart from these songs that deal exclusively with the figure of Joan Manuel Serrat, there are others that mention the name of Joan Manuel Serrat or some of his songs. These are the cases of Alberto Cortez in his live version of No soy de aquí, by Joaquín Sabina himself when he recorded No hago otra cosa que pensar en ti on the album Serrat, eres único, of Presuntos Implicados in "Ser de agua" or of singer-songwriters like Juan Carlos Baglietto, Fito Páez , Javier Ruibal, Víctor Heredia, Fernando Delgadillo, Ricardo Arjona, Amaury Pérez, Vicente Feliú, Alejandro Filio, Kiko Tovar, Cacho Duvanced, Ramiro Segrelles, Joan Isaac, Guillermina Motta, Gerardo Peña, Hernaldo Zúñiga, Liuba María Hevia, Alejandro Nardecchia, Miquel Pujadó, Joan Baptista Humet, among others.

You can also quote in this section the lyrics of Sóc el millor, which Francesc Pi de la Serra composed, although more than in homage was a harsh criticism towards Serrat for his decision of Joan Manuel to sing also in Spanish. Also noteworthy is the humorous version of the song Ara que tinc vint anys, which La Trinca recorded with a change in title: Ara que tinc 80 anys.[5]

Political views


In 1974, during a visit to Mexico, an arrest warrant was issued for Serrat in Spain after he criticised the death penalty and the "established and official violence" of the dictatorship of Francisco Franco. Serrat lived in exile for the remainder of the Francoist dictatorship, returning after the death of Franco in 1975 and Spain's return to democracy.[6]

In several of his statements. Serrat has criticized the independence movement of Catalonia,[7] as well as the 1 October 2017 Catalan independence referendum,[8][9] becoming a figure for Catalans who choose the union of Spain.[citation needed] He has also criticized several times the economic corruption of the independentist Catalan government and the national government of Mariano Rajoy. Serrat holds the view that the unilateral 2017 Catalan declaration of independence and the reaction from the government of Rajoy served the purpose of "covering up years of cuts and economic corruption" from both the Catalan regional government and Spanish national government.[10][11] On several occasions, some in the independence movement called for a boycott against Serrat.[12][13][14]

Select discography



  • 1967: Ara que tinc Vint Anys
  • 1968: Cançons Tradicionals
  • 1969: Com ho fa el Vent
  • 1969: La Paloma
  • 1969: Dedicado a Antonio Machado, poeta
  • 1970: Serrat IV
  • 1971: Mediterráneo
  • 1972: Vagabundear
  • 1972: Miguel Hernández
  • 1973: Per al meu Amic
  • 1974: Canción Infantil
  • 1975: ...Para Piel de Manzana
  • 1976: Retratos
  • 1977: Res no és Mesquí
  • 1978: 1978
  • 1979: Mi Niñez
  • 1980: Tal com Raja
  • 1981: En Tránsito
  • 1983: Cada Loco con su Tema
  • 1984: Fa Vint Anys que tinc Vint Anys
  • 1984: En Directo
  • 1985: El Sur También Existe
  • 1986: Sinceramente Teu
  • 1987: Bienaventurados
  • 1989: Material Sensible
  • 1992: Utopía List of number-one albums of 1992 (Spain)
  • 1994: Nadie es Perfecto
  • 1996: Banda Sonora d'un Temps d'un País
  • 1996: El Gusto Es Nuestro
  • 1998: Sombras de la China
  • 2000: Cansiones (Tarrés)
  • 2002: Versos en la Boca
  • 2003: Serrat Sinfónico
  • 2006:
  • 2007: Dos Pájaros de un Tiro
  • 2010: Hijo de la Luz y de la Sombra
  • 2012: La orquesta del Titanic
  • 2012: Serrat & Sabina En El Luna Park
  • 2015: En Bellas Artes

Tribute albums

  • 1969: Tete MontoliuTete Montoliu Interpreta a Serrat (Discmedi)
  • 1977: Tete Montoliu – Catalonian Folksongs (Timeless)
  • 1995: Varios – Serrat, eres único (BMG Ariola)
  • 2002: Ricardo León – Antes que lleguen los perros (Whitehill)
  • 2004: Ricardo León – Levementeodioso (Whitehill)
  • 2005: Varios – Serrat, eres único (volumen 2) (BMG Ariola)
  • 2005: Varios – Cuba le canta a Serrat (Discmedi)
  • 2006: Varios – Per al meu amic Serrat (Discmedi)
  • 2007: Varios – Cuba le canta a Serrat (volumen 2) (Discmedi)

Some awards and recognitions received


See also



  1. ^ "Serrat exige cantar el 'La, la, la' en catalán y TVE lo descarta para Eurovisión". Heraldo de Aragón (in Spanish). 26 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Momento Massiel con su La,la,la". eurovision-spain (in Spanish). 3 December 2020.
  3. ^ Vila-San-Juan, Juan Felipe (1981). La "trastienda" de TVE (in Spanish). Plaza & Janés. ISBN 84-01-37098-1.
  4. ^ "Artist Profile: Joan Manuel Serrat". Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  5. ^ "Homenajes a Joan Manuel Serrat en la web oficial del artista". Archived from the original on 19 July 2008.
  6. ^ Castañeda, Ulises (15 March 2014). "Joan Manuel Serrat recuerda su exilio en México en 1975". La Crónica de Hoy (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2 June 2021. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  7. ^ S.E. (4 October 2015). "Serrat se moja en contra de la independencia". La Razón (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 December 2021.
  8. ^ EFE (22 September 2017). "Serrat: "El referéndum no es transparente y no puede representar a nadie"". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). Barcelona. Retrieved 4 December 2021.
  9. ^ Samper Ospina, Juanita (29 September 2017). "Joan Manuel Serrat insiste en críticas al secesionismo de Cataluña". El Tiempo (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 December 2021.
  10. ^ "Serrat opina que el 1-O sirve para "tapar años de recortes y corrupción" entre ambas partes". (in Spanish). 22 September 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  11. ^ "Joan Manuel Serrat: "Siento que hemos fracasado como especie"". (in Spanish). 20 April 2016. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  12. ^ "Boicot contra Serrat en las redes sociales". El Periódico de Catalunya (in Spanish). Barcelona. 16 January 2018. Retrieved 4 December 2021.
  13. ^ "Independentistas llaman a boicotear un documental sobre Joan Manuel Serrat en TV3". (in Spanish). 16 January 2018. Retrieved 4 December 2021.
  14. ^ EFE (26 September 2017). "Joan Manuel Serrat: "Los que me tildan de fascista desconocen lo que es el fascismo"". La Sexta (in Spanish). Atresmedia Corporación de Medios de Comunicación, S.A. Retrieved 4 December 2021.
  15. ^ "Premios Ondas de música". Archived from the original on 7 January 2010.
  16. ^ a b "Entregan doctorado honoris causa a Joan Manuel Serrat",, 5 December 2005
  17. ^ "Programa Especial "Joan Manuel Serrat"". Archived from the original on 17 April 2009.
  18. ^ "Serrat, investido doctor honoris causa por la Universidad Complutense de Madrid" [Serrat, invested honorary doctor by the Complutense University of Madrid]. El Mundo (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 November 2007.
  19. ^ Alma Muñoz y Emir Olivares (22 September 2011). "Concede UNAM honoris causa a 11 personalidades". La Jornada. Archived from the original on 25 September 2011.
  20. ^ "Joan Manuel Serrat recibe la Medalla de Oro al Mérito en el Trabajo" [Joan Manuel Serrat receives the Gold Medal for Merit at Work]. El Mundo (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 November 2007.
  21. ^ "Joan Manuel Serrat gana el primer Premio Nacional de las Músicas Actuales" [Joan Manuel Serrat wins the first National Prize for Current Music]. El Mundo (in Spanish). 17 December 2009. Retrieved 16 March 2010.
  22. ^ Jorge Ramos (17 May 2010). "Calderón otorga insignia a Joan Manuel Serrat". El Universal (Mexico City). The decoration, explained the presidency, recognizes who for many years has maintained a close and personal relationship with Mexico
  23. ^ City Council of Barcelona (17 May 2010). "Premios Ciudad de Barcelona". Official website of Barcelona City Council.[permanent dead link]
  24. ^ People (31 October 2014). "Joaquín Sabina y Joan Manuel Serrat ganan premios Luna". People. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  25. ^ "Joan Manuel Serrat es homenajeado como la Persona del Año 2014 en el Latin Grammy". People. 19 November 2010.
  26. ^ People (25 November 2010). "Recibirá Joan Manuel Serrat Premio Ondas". People.
  27. ^ Vázquez, Cristina (6 October 2017). "La Generalitat valenciana premia a Joan Manuel Serrat por "su obra y su ética"". El País – via
  28. ^ "Condecoraciones de la Orden de Jaume I El Conqueridor-ARGOS". Archived from the original on 8 September 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  29. ^ "Royal Decree 1095–2021". (in Spanish).
  30. ^ "Joan Manuel Serrat, Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts 2024". Princess of Asturias Foundation. Retrieved 24 April 2024.