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Juan Gabriel to Kick Off New Arena Tour in August: Exclusive Details

Robert Hacman
Juan Gabriel

At 66 years old, legendary Mexican singer/songwriter Juan Gabriel notched the highest-grossing Latin tour of 2015, raking in $31.8 million for 32 shows in the U.S. and Puerto Rico alone.

Now, he’s poised for an encore.

On Aug. 19, Juan Gabriel will kick off what may perhaps be his most ambitious U.S. tour ever, Billboard has exclusively learned.

MeXXIco Es Todos (Mexico Is All Of Us) launches at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego and will play in 22 U.S. cities, including back to back shows at State Farm Arena in McAllen, TX, and shows in relatively new markets like Greensboro, NC (Greensboro Coliseum Complex Sept. 29) and the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA (Dec. 3). Other stops include the Los Angeles Forum, the American Airlines Arena in Miami and Barclays in New York. 

The all-arena tour will again be produced by CMN, which also booked and produced his 2015 shows. Following last year’s sell-outs, this year’s tour seeks to maximize space in key markets, including Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles, by featuring a 360 stage set-up to increase the number of available seats.

“It’s the most extensive tour for us, and the biggest show,” says Juan Gabriel’s son Iván Aguilera, 28, who for the past six years has managed his father’s career.

MeXXIco Es Todos (with the XXI symbolizing the 21st century) will travel with over 100 people, including a full mariachi band, orchestra and a troupe of 20 dancers.

“We're going to feature traditional Mexican folk dances as well as contemporary pop choreographies,” says Aguilera. “It’s the first time he incorporates dancers into the show.”

While adding dancers may seem like a run of the mill move, it isn’t for Juan Gabriel, who is known for his bombastic and very long shows where he carries the entire weight of the performance with dramatic interpretations of his hits that can vary wildly from night to night. A Juan Gabriel show can go into serious overtime depending on the whims of that evening’s audience. And although the MeXXIco es Todos tour comes in the wake of Juan Gabriel’s two duets albums, which made him the top-selling Latin artist of 2015, according to Nielsen Soundscan, these will all be solo shows.

“We always plan on a two hour, two and a half hour show, but he always goes over because he sees his fans having a blast and he wants them to get his money’s worth,” laughs Aguilera.

Age hasn’t slowed down Juan Gabriel either. Two years ago, he had to reschedule his tour after falling ill and having to be hospitalized. He came back with a vengeance, adding new performances to his 2015 tour as the year progressed and the scheduled shows sold out.

His regime, says his son, is pretty straight-forward. He’s a healthy eater (he used to be a vegetarian), who rises early, takes naps and travels on his private plane from city to city, without a doctor in tow.

What Aguilera has done for his father, however, is finesse the strategy and structure of his albums and tours.

“When I came in, I believed that things needed to be done at the level of someone of his caliber,” he says. 

Tickets for MeXXIco Es Todos go on sale Friday, June 3 at 10 a.m. with a special code-activated pre-sale on Thursday, June 2 at 10 a.m.