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Jon Secada (born Juan Francisco Secada Ramírez; October 4, 1961) is a Cuban American and Afro-Cuban[1][2] singer and songwriter. He has won two Grammy Awards and sold 20 million albums. He fuses funk, soul music, pop, and Latin percussion.

Jon Secada
John Secada 1996.jpg
Secada in 1996
Background information
Birth nameJuan Francisco Secada Ramírez
Born (1961-10-04) October 4, 1961 (age 58)
Havana, Cuba
OriginMiami, Florida, U.S.
GenresPop music
Latin pop
Years active1984–present
LabelsSBK Records
EMI Records

Secada has written songs for Gloria Estefan, Ricky Martin, and Jennifer Lopez. He has toured with Luciano Pavarotti and recorded duets with Jim Brickman, Olivia Newton John, and Frank Sinatra.

Secada has performed many times at A Capitol Fourth.

Early life and educationEdit

Secada was born in 1961 in Havana, Cuba.[2] Secada’s father, José, was incarcerated for 3 years as a political prisoner by the Castro regime. In 1971, the Secadas received permission to emigrate and moved to Miami.[3] His parents opened a coffee shop.[4]

Secada was raised in Hialeah, Florida. In 1979, he graduated from Hialeah High School.[5] It was during his performance of A Christmas Carol in 11th grade when he realized his musical potential and was encouraged by teachers to pursue music as a career.[2]

In 1983, he received a Bachelor of Music and in 1986 he received a Master of Music in jazz vocal performance, both from the Frost School of Music.[6] He graduated cum-laude and was later inducted into the Iron Arrow Honor Society.[7]


From 1986 to 1991, Secada was a teacher at Miami Dade College.[8]

In 1986, Secada was introduced to Emilio Estefan by his college acquaintances.[1] Estefan listened to one of Secada's demos and then became Secada's mentor and manager.[2][9] This led to Secada becoming a backup singer for Gloria Estefan's Miami Sound Machine.[4]

In 1991, Secada co-wrote and was a backup singer for "Coming Out of the Dark", a number one hit song inspired by a vehicle accident when Gloria Estefan was on tour.[10]

In 1992, he released his self-titled debut album, which sold 7 million copies.[4]

In 1994, he performed in a duet with Frank Sinatra, a re-recording of "The Best Is Yet to Come", released on Sinatra's album, Duets II. He also performed at the awards for Miss Venezuela 1994.

In 1995, he performed on Broadway theatre in Grease.[4] He also presented at the 49th Tony Awards. He recorded If I Never Knew You, a duet with Shanice for Pocahontas.

In 1999, he co-wrote and produced "She's All I Ever Had" for Ricky Martin.

In 2003, he performed in Cabaret.[4] He also co-wrote Juramento for Ricky Martin.

From 2006 to 2009, Secada was a judge on Latin American Idol for its entire 4 season run.

In 2007, he co-wrote 3 songs and performed in 1 song on Lilian Garcia's album ¡Quiero Vivir!

In 2017, he released a tribute album with cover versions of songs by Benny Moré.[11]

Personal lifeEdit

From 1988 to 1993, Secada was married to Jo Pat Cafro. In May 1995, he started dating Maritere Vilar. They were married in February 1997.[12] They have 2 children.

Secada resides in a 7,284 square-foot house, with a tennis court and pool, a few blocks west of his alma mater in Coral Gables, Florida.[13]

Secada created the Jon Secada Music Scholarship at the University of Miami, raised funds for The Recording Academy's effort "Keeping Music in Schools," and supports many initiatives including the Pediatric AIDS Unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.[14]


  • Jon Secada (1992)
  • Otro Día Más Sin Verte (1992)
  • Heart, Soul & a Voice (1994)
  • Si Te Vas (1994)
  • Amor (1995)
  • Secada (1997)
  • Better Part of Me (2000)
  • The Gift (2001)
  • Amanecer (2002)
  • Same Dream (2005)
  • A Christmas Fiesta/Una Fiesta Navideña (2007)
  • Expressions (2009)
  • Classics/Clasicos (2010)
  • Otra Vez (2011)
  • To Beny Moré With Love (2017)

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
1992 Grammy Awards Best Latin Pop Album Jon Secada Won
1992 Grammy Awards Best New Artist Himself Nominated
1993 BMI Awards Most Performed Latin Song "Otro Día Más Sin Verte",

"Sentir", and "Cree en Nuestra Amor" (Do You Believe in Us)

The World Music Awards Best-Selling Latin American Recording Artist Himself Won
The Caribbean Music Awards Best New Latin Pop Album Otro Día Más Sin Verte Won
Billboard Latin Music Awards Best Latin-Pop Album of the Year Won
Best Latin-Pop Artist Himself
Best New Latin-Pop Artist of the Year
Hit Radio Awards (Hong Kong) Best Male Artist of the Year Won
Rolling Stone Magazine Best Male Vocalist Won
1994 Asian Music Awards Best Pop Song "Mental Picture" Won
1996 Grammy Awards Best Latin Pop Album Amor Won
1998 BMI Pop Awards Best Pop Song "Too Late, Too Soon" Won
Best Latin Song "Amandolo"
2001 Billboard Latin Music Awards Best Dance Song "Asi" Nominated
BMI Pop Awards Best Pop Songwriter "Bella" Won
BMI Latin Awards Best Latin Songwriter "Bella" Won
2017 Latin Grammy Awards Best Traditional Tropical Album To Beny More With Love Won


  1. ^ a b Walker, Michael (June 12, 1994). "POP MUSIC: Mr. Melting Pot: Using his Latino and African American heritage as a springboard to multicultural music, singer Jon Secada is realizing his crossover dreams while promoting integration 'because that's what America is about'". Los Angeles Times.
  2. ^ a b c d "JON SECADA SEES SUCCESS FROM ALL SIDES". Orlando Sentinel. April 7, 1995.
  3. ^ Capretto, Lisa (January 31, 2017). "Latin Superstar From The '90s Shares His Powerful Immigrant Story". HuffPost.
  4. ^ a b c d e "A little of everything: Since days with Sound Machine, Jon Secada has built a diverse career". Las Vegas Sun. September 16, 2005.
  5. ^ BENN, EVAN (July 31, 2018). "Grammy winner Jon Secada goes back to Hialeah with INDULGE". Miami Herald.
  6. ^ "Jon Secada, B.M. '83, MM '86". Frost School of Music.
  7. ^ "Jon Secada: Bio". Jon Secada.
  8. ^ "Learning the ropes with Professor Secada". Miami Dade College. May 2009.
  10. ^ "Jon Secada blends careers and a cause". Orange County Register. March 21, 2006.
  11. ^ Flores, Griselda (February 1, 2017). "Listen to Jon Secada's New Single 'Como Fue,' Feat. Beny More: Exclusive Premiere". Billboard.
  12. ^ "True Amor". People. March 10, 1997.
  13. ^ Vogel, Mike (March 25, 2015). "Where celebrities live in Florida". Florida Trend.
  14. ^ Wedekindt, David (September 7, 2005). "Evening with the Stars: Jon Secada, Scott Celani". University of Buffalo.

External linksEdit