Enrique Iglesias will sing on Howard Stern's syndicated radio show Thursday in response to a tape Stern played that questioned Iglesias' vocal skills, the Latin-pop singer announced Tuesday (June 6).
Stern played a recording Monday and Tuesday morning that featured an off-key voice singing Iglesias' latest hit, "Rhythm Divine" (RealAudio excerpt). The tape, which Stern's crew said was provided by a reliable music-industry insider, was made allegedly during a live appearance in which Iglesias' vocals were not broadcast over the PA system but were instead replaced by a pre-recorded vocal track.
Stern and his cohorts speculated that the voice was so bad that if it was Iglesias', perhaps he was not the one who performed the vocals on his albums.
David Channing, an engineer who worked on Iglesias' 1999 album, Enrique, said Iglesias definitely does his own vocals. "On the stuff that we worked on, he came in and sang," Channing said.
Iglesias' publicist, John Reilly, said Iglesias will fly from Italy where the singer was performing with tenor Luciano Pavarotti on Tuesday and taping the annual "Pavarotti & Friends" television special to appear on Stern's show, accompanied by only an acoustic guitarist.
Reilly denied that Iglesias makes a practice of lip-synching but said it has been done when necessary. In a statement released Tuesday, Reilly said, "Although we cannot confirm the authenticity of the tape, it is highly usual that the technological capabilities of some television shows in other parts of the world are not at a standard level to allow for a live performance. It is widely accepted in the music industry that artists performing on these TV shows do so to 'full-playback.'
"Rather than not provide the viewing fans with the highest quality experience possible, most artists do agree to this method, whereby any actual vocal coming from the artist is not transmitted. Enrique has many times over demonstrated his vocal ability through countless live television performances."
Iglesias also released a statement, saying, "Unfortunately, there are many shows around the world that are not technologically advanced enough to handle a live performance, and in promotion of my music, sometimes I have to compromise in an effort to reach all the fans. As evidenced by the number of concerts and live television performances with my band I have done in my career, I think those performances speak for themselves."
Iglesias is the Grammy Award-winning son of romantic crooner Julio Iglesias. His 1995 self-titled debut and 1997's Vivir have each sold more than 1 million copies. Enrique included the hit "Bailamos" (RealAudio excerpt).