Colombian singer and songwriter Juanes is adding "Dancing with the Stars" to his resume when he performs on the show tonight, but it won't be just any showcase. The crooner will be the first Latin artist to perform two songs in Spanish for the popular program.
Juanes recently took time to talk to Billboard about "DWTS," his upcoming tour and why he decided to release “Chasing the Sun” – a book which highlights his life as an artist from his struggling days to becoming one of Latin music's biggest names.
The Grammy-winning artist, whose U.S. tour begins in May, has recently begun appearing on major shows such as "LIVE with Kelly and Michael" as part of a campaign to expand his music to a much wider audience, which down the road will include some projects in English.
“My next album will be in Spanish, but there may be a couple of tracks in English," Juanes says. "I'll be recording in July and you may see something at the end of 2013 or early 2014."
The Atlantic Council is also going to honor Juanes in May with its Humanitarian Leadership Award. He'll perform a duet with Tony Bennett at the awards dinner in Washington, D.C., which will also be attended by Hillary Clinton and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
Billboard: Can you talk about your appearance on "Dancing with the Stars" (8 p.m./ABC, April 29) and what you have in store for the audience?
Juanes: I'll be singing in Spanish. We'll be doing a medley and we're very happy to be part of the franchise. This is really the start of being on American shows, but with the idea of singing in Spanish. I'm pleased and thankful that these opportunities are coming up. It makes me proud of being Latino and Colombian.
Billboard: Do you think you'll ever record an all-English album?
Juanes: Probably not, but I do want to work on a few songs [in English]. That's already in the works. My next album will be mostly in Spanish.
Billboard: You have more than 7.6 million Twitter followers. How important is social media for you?
Juanes: Social media is very important. It's become one of the best ways to connect with fans. You really get to know your fans and that is priceless. It's so immediate and you can inform people about what you're up to from new music to touring. I also love Facebook. Social media is as important as radio, television and magazines.
Billboard: Your book has been well-received by your fans. It chronicles your life and you go deep. Can you talk about going from aspiring artist to a major name in music?
Juanes: The book looks at the early years and the importance of music. In the early years there was a lot of experimentation going on in my music. There were many happy moments and some sad ones as well. I'm really appreciative of those years.
Billboard: Doors closed in those earlier years. How did you get past those rejections?
Juanes: You must follow your heart. You have to have faith, but when you're extremely passionate about something you have to keep making music. I would tell anyone to keep making music no matter what.
Billboard: Your upcoming tour will really get you up close to your fans. How will you achieve this?
Juanes: The tour starts in May and we'll be in about 30 cities in the U.S. between May and July. We’ll be in cities such as Seattle, San Jose, Los Angeles, Houston, New York, Orlando and Miami. This tour will be very acoustic and we'll have the band. The show will be intimate and will allow us to really connect with fans.