Iglesias headlines Winter at Tantora Festival

Gipsy Kings Flamenco to fire up Maraya Concert Hall

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International star Enrique Iglesias is coming to AlUla on Friday to make his first appearance at the Winter at Tantora Festival.

ALULA, Saudi Arabia — International star Enrique Iglesias is coming to AlUla on Friday to make his first appearance at the Winter at Tantora Festival. The Gipsy Kings will also perform their distinguished Andalusian-Spanish flamenco stylings during the same weekend.

The event is organized by the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) in its continued celebration of cultural and historical heritage while hosting a group of distinguished Arab and international artists.

Iglesias's artistic career started in 1995 when he released his first album, which bore his name. All the songs on the album, which sold more than half a million copies in the first week, were in Spanish. This was considered a significant achievement for Iglesias, as this was the first album in a non-English language to achieve these sales.

Most of the songs were translated into Portuguese and Italian, the album won a Grammy in the Best Latin Pop category, and Iglesias launched his second album Vivir in Spanish, as well, which put him among the top stars at that time in terms of sales. Iglesias continued to release albums in several languages, including English, and went on tour to several countries around the world.

Iglesias proved his worth in more than one genre of music and achieved unparalleled success when his songs were used in several movie soundtracks. He has also won many international awards: 16 Billboard Music Awards, 23 Billboard Awards for Latin Music, five American Music Awards, the Latin Grammy Award, and the award for the most successful Spanish artist of the decade during the Premios Ondas Awards in 2002.

In addition to the awards above, he has received seven World Music Awards, and he won the MTV European Music Award in 2010. So far, Enrique has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best selling Spanish artists of all time.

As for the Gipsy Kings, the song Bamboléo was its first success in 1987. After two years (in 1989), the group had managed to sell three million albums, and released the album Mosaïque, and recorded two copies in Europe and Canada. In 1990, they had a successful tour in the United States of America, which was a turning point in their artistic development.

"Gipsy Kings", which means "Roma Kings", is a music group from southern France that performs flamenco songs in the Andalusian-Spanish dialect. This will be the group's first time playing at the Winter of Tantora Festival with its two original members Tonino Baliardo and Nicolas Reyes.

On the backdrop of the picturesque nature of AlUla, the two concerts will take place at Maraya Concert Hall, which is the largest theater constructed with mirrors in the world, it represents a modern architectural masterpiece and can accommodate about five-hundred guests with the addition of a high-quality opera theater sound system.

The festival also includes many other diverse activities in the local markets, winter garden, farms, and the old town.

Over the course of 12 weeks, the festival will present a variety of activities that merge Eastern and Western culture, embodying AlUla's heritage as a meeting point for different civilizations from around the world throughout history.

Winter at Tantora Festival offers a wide range of diverse experiences that cater to all tastes from all walks of life. The festival will take place every weekend starting Dec. 19, and running until the March 7.

Guests this year will have the unique opportunity to visit the historical heritage sites before they are closed to the general public until October 2020. They will also be able to attend musical and artistic performances by some of the most respected artists in the Arab and international world. — SG


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