Excerpted from the magazine for Billboard.com.

If there's a limit to Marco Antonio Solís' success, he has yet to reach it.

In his more than 30 years in the limelight, Solís has achieved so many milestones, it's hard to pinpoint which is most important. First as the lead singer/songwriter of romantic Mexican group Los Bukis, then as a best-selling soloist in the same genre, and still later as an international romantic superstar, Solis' career has been on an ever-ascending path that shows no sign of leveling off.

This year, Solís will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Billboard Latin Music Awards (April 28 in Miami), which recognizes an outstanding artistic trajectory and one that has been instrumental in promoting and extending the reach of Latin music worldwide.

"This truly is my most active moment," Solís told Billboard upon the release of his latest album, "Razón de Sobra," late last year, reflecting upon his growing international success. (The set debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Latin Albums chart.)

While in places as far flung as Chile Solís has become the best-selling artist in the market, here in the United States, his track record remains extraordinary as well.

As a songwriter, Solís -— who says he writes his songs on little slips of paper —- has had more No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks chart than any other composer. As a producer, he has taken home Billboard's Latin producer of the year award on several occasions for work on his own albums and for other artists, including Rocío Durcal, Olga Tañón and Ana B&3225;rbara.

And then, there is Solís the mega-seller. Since 1995 he has had 13 titles on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart —- all on Fonovisa Records —- including two compilations with Los Bukis and two compilations with Joan Sebastian. Five of those titles have reached No. 1 on the chart, and four have been certified gold.

Solís' venture into pop, 1999's "Trozos de Mi Alma" (which is certified platinum) opened the doors for traditional Mexican acts to be heard around the world, a phenomenon akin to Luis Miguel's recording of traditional boleros 10 years earlier.

Indeed, everything Solís touches, turns to gold —- or platinum.

The reasons behind Solís' success are multiple. There is his prolific output as a songwriter, with a troubadour's knack for the vernacular and the poetic. He is an artist whose expressive romanticism is easily understood.

And then there's the voice. Solís, who modestly claims there are many more singers better than he, says he doesn't "sing" his songs as much as "tell" them via his distinctive, plaintive tenor.

"He has tears in his throat," says Carlos Maharbiz, VP of A&R and East Coast operations for Fonovisa Records, attempting to explain that ineffable quality that enables Solís to connect with listeners.

"Marco opens his mouth, and every word —- not just every phrase —- every word he utters expresses something," the late producer Bebu Silvetti told Billboard several years ago after producing a Solís album. "The great singer is one who can express and one whose voice touches people's hearts. And he's touched the heart of some 40 million people."





Excerpted from the April 30, 2005, issue of Billboard. The full original text is available to Billboard.com subscribers.

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