photo©2001 by Lauree Leyland for ChristianActivities.com
Word Records' award winning and multi-platinum selling artist Jaci Velasquez, along with a host of other notable Hispanic music celebrities including Emilio Jr., Gloria Estefan, and Jon Secada performed "El Ultimo Adios" ("The Last Goodbye") at the White House on Friday, October 12th.
The song "El Utimo Adios," originally written and recorded to honor the victims and families of the September 11th terrorist attacks, was be sung in memory of fallen Latino heroes for Hispanic Heritage Month Observation. Velasquez was initially invited by President George W. Bush to perform the National Anthem on Friday, September 14 at the White House for this same Celebration of Hispanic Heritage event, postponed until now.
The recording of "El Utimo Adios" on Thursday, September 27 included sessions in Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Mexico City and Puerto Rico. Jaci joined artists Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, Gloria Estafan, Shakira, Alejandro Fernadez, Thalia, Celia Cruz, Carlos Vives to perform "El Ultimo Adios" at the Los Angeles location. Emilio Estefan, along with Gian Marco and Jon Secada, wrote and produced the tribute song.
"El Ultimo Adios" is currently being released and distributed by Crescent Moon Records through Sony Music, who has graciously contributed the first 100,000 units to be manufactured. Because the recording studios, producers, arrangers and engineers are all donating their services and time, 100% of the proceeds from the sales of the project will be donated to the American Red Cross and the United Way.
Besides her involvement with "El Ultimo Adios," Velasquez has also been garnering numerous successes in the Latin market with her No. 1 song, "Como se cura una herida," from her already-RIAA-Certified Gold and second Latin album release, Mi Corazón. As her 16th No. 1 single, "Como se cura una herida" topped the Billboard Latin pop chart for three weeks.
Her next significant offering in the Latin market will be the highly anticipated and sixth studio project, Navidad, a holiday recording which is slated to release in November. The English version of the recording, Christmas, has already released (Sept. 18) to wide critical acclaim.
Touring in support of Christmas, Velasquez will embark on a major-market, 18-city tour with a full orchestra into cities such as Chicago, Houston, Detroit, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Kansas City, Austin, San Antonio, Grand Rapids, Dallas, among others. The Christmas tour will immediately follow Velasquez's tour of Central and South America in support of her Spanish language recordings.
At the age of 22, Jaci Velasquez is one of the most recognizable entertainers spanning two music genres, including Christian and the now-popular Latin genre. With only six years in the industry and six albums to her credit, Jaci has already garnered three RIAA certified Platinum recordings, including her record-breaking debut, Heavenly Place, and her Latin debut, Llegar a Ti. Sixteen of Jaci's singles have been No. 1 radio hits and she has received, to date, an impressive seven Dove Awards, three GRAMMY award nominations, 5 Billboard Magazine Award nominations, including two current video award nominations, and a Premio Lo Nuestro Award. Furthermore, last June, Jaci became a spokesmodel for John Frieda's Frizz-Ease Professional Hair Care line of products. During the two-year, nearly two million-dollar ad campaign, she will be featured in ads running in magazines such as Latina and People en Espanol, as well as on Latin-based television commercials.
Velasquez is pictured above getting a congratulatory kiss from Kirk Franklin at the 2001 Dove Awards.