Marco Antonio Muñiz, 16 September 1968, New York City, New York, USA. One of the leading salsa stars of the late 90s and early 00s, Anthony began his career as a session vocalist for pop and dance acts. His Puerto Rican parents boasted a strong Latin music heritage and named their son after a Mexican singer. Under his new name, Anthony worked as a songwriter and backing vocalist for pop acts including Menudo and the Latin Rascals. He subsequently collaborated with house producer Little Louie Vega, who featured the singer on the Latin-flavoured club hit Ride On The Rhythm and When The Night Is Over. In 1992, Vega and Anthony opened for Latin band leader Tito Puente at New Yorks Madison Square Garden. Seeking new inspiration from the music of Puente, Rubén Blades and Juan Gabriel, Anthony performed at the Latin music convention Radio y Musica, his first step on the road to salsa stardom. He released his Spanish-language debut, Otra Nota, in 1993, and achieved his first taste of mainstream success performing the hit duet Vivir Lo Nuestro with singer La India.
Subsequent tours throughout the Americas, including an opening slot for Blades, established Anthony as one of the hottest new stars in salsa. His excellent 1995 collection, Todo A Su Tiempo, was nominated for a Grammy. The more traditional-sounding follow-up, Contra La Corriente, was promoted by a sell-out solo concert at Madison Square Garden. Anthony also appeared alongside Blades in Paul Simons 1998 flop stage musical, The Capeman, which closed after only 68 regular performances. Rebounding from that failure, Anthony began working on his English language debut with a crew of leading producers, including Rodney Jerkins and Walter Afanasieff. Released in September 1999, and promoted by the US Top 5 hit single I Need To Know, the self-titled collection was a clear attempt to emulate the crossover success of Jennifer Lopez and Ricky Martin, at the risk of angering his traditional salsa fans. Anthony had already appeared with Lopez on the duet No Me Ames, taken from her On The 6 collection. During a busy year, Anthony appeared alongside Nicolas Cage in Martin Scorseses Bringing Out The Dead.
The Spanish-language salsa album Libre (2001) was closely followed in the release schedules by Anthonys second English-language recording, Mended. In June 2004, Anthony married Jennifer Lopez only four days after his divorce from his first wife. The same months Amar Sin Mentiras was another worthy Latin pop outing, although Anthonys long-term fans were probably more impressed with the attendant Valió La Pena, on which the singer reworked several tracks from Amar Sin Mentiras into salsa style.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.