Latin GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter Draco Rosa recently visited The Recording Academy's headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., to participate in an exclusive GRAMMY.com interview. Rosa discussed his recent battle with cancer, greatest career moments and collaborating with some of Latin music's top artists on his new album, Vida, among other topics.
"There were days that I'd show up to the studio and I would walk through the door and went straight to the sofa because the [chemotherapy] is so exhausting," said Rosa. "But there were days when it was just the best thing ever. I was dancing and enjoying it, and living like never before."
Originally from Long Island, N.Y., Rosa moved to Puerto Rico as a child, and joined the popular Puerto Rican boy band Menudo in 1984. He garnered a GRAMMY nomination that same year for Best Latin Pop Performance for Menudo's Evolucion. After departing Menudo in 1987, Rosa relocated to Los Angeles in 1990 and formed Maggie's Dream. Rosa released his debut solo album, 1994's Frío, which was followed by Vagabundo (1996) and Songbirds & Roosters (1998). In 1999 he co-produced and co-wrote his former Menudo bandmate Ricky Martin's smash hit "Livin' La Vida Loca," which garnered three GRAMMY nominations, including Record Of The Year. In 2004 "Mas Y Mas," featured on 2004's Mad Love, garnered Rosa his first career Latin GRAMMY for Best Music Video.
Recorded after his diagnosis with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2011, Vida is Rosa's first album since 2009's GRAMMY-nominated Amor Vincit Omnia. Vida features Rosa, now cancer-free, duetting on 16 of his greatest hits with artists such as GRAMMY winners Martin, Juanes, Maná, Alejandro Sanz, and Shakira, among others.
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