Mexican crooner Luis Miquel, one of Latin music's top-selling artists and top-grossing performers, is planning the most ambitious tour of his career, Billboard has learned. The Mexico En la Piel tour,

Mexican crooner Luis Miquel, one of Latin music's top-selling artists and top-grossing performers, is planning the most ambitious tour of his career, Billboard.biz has learned.

The Mexico En la Piel tour, named after the artist's November 2004 Warner Music Latina album, will start Sept. 13 in Fresno, Calif. It includes at least 40 U.S. concerts before playing 10 dates in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. The tour will close with 17 shows in Mexico.

“It's a very special tour, a very ambitious tour, and it could be the most important in his career,” his manager, AA Music Management's Alejandro Asensi, tells Billboard.biz in an exclusive interview.

Miquel's last full-fledged U.S. concert earned him the Latin tour of the year honor at the 2004 Billboard Latin Music Awards. However, Asensi says, this tour is different in its scope. Performances will include a recap of Miquel's hits but will focus on material from “Mexico En la Piel.” While the singer has long included mariachi in his recordings and performances, “Mexico” is his first mariachi-only record.

So it makes sense that Miquel -- who typically performs in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey, Mexico -- will play more than a dozen secondary markets, many of which he has not visited in more than a decade.

“We were waiting for this kind of an album,” Asensi says. “It's a more Mexican album. And that's why we plan to spend more time in the United States and Mexico.”

The Mexican theme has created anticipation for the tour, says Emily Simonitsch, senior VP of talent for House of Blues Concerts. Miguel's tour includes at least four dates at the Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal City Walk, an HOB venue in Universal City, Calif. “He's the highest-selling Latin artist for [HOB] because of the numerous dates he does for us in the United States,” Simonitsch says.

AA is booking Miquel's U.S. shows in conjunction with the William Morris Agency. Different promoters are working different dates and there is no major tour sponsor in the United States. Negotiations are under way with at least two major sponsors in Mexico.

Tickets to some of the California dates were to go on sale at press
time. Other dates will go up in the coming weeks.