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Love, Julio style

October 16, 1999

Alex Coolman

They do it in Singapore; they do it in Guadalajara; they do it in Costa

Mesa, every chance they get.

People fall in love all over the globe, and the man singing the

soundtrack to this international swoon-fest for more than three decades

has been Julio Iglesias, polyglot pop phenomenon.

He'll be doing it again -- singing, that is -- at The Orange County

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Performing Arts Center's Segerstrom Hall from Oct. 22 through 24,

reminding Newport-Mesa residents why he's become the world's poster boy

for undiminished vigor.

Iglesias announced his presence on the English-language pop scene in 1983

with "To All the Girls I've Loved Before," a duet with Willie Nelson. The

Spanish performer went on from that successful collaboration to work with

artists ranging from Stevie Wonder to Dolly Parton, seducing North

America with the same ease of his conquest of the South.

These days, 56-year-old Iglesias' reach is global in a way that only a

handful of stars -- Michael Jackson is perhaps a safe comparison -- can

match. He occupies a Guinness Book of Records entry for his unmatched

sales and has recorded more than 70 full-length albums. His appearance at

The Center is just a brief stop in a tour that includes dates throughout

America, Europe and China.

"We go from Costa Mesa to Beijing," Iglesias said. At his Chinese

performances, "I sing in Spanish and in English, and nobody understands

what I'm talking about."

That Iglesias hasn't yet mastered a tune in Mandarin is remarkable. He

has recorded records not only in his native Spanish, but also in English,

French, German, Portuguese and Italian. His latest effort, "My Life: The

Greatest Hits" was released in six languages.

Underlying his universal appeal is a romantic approach to songwriting and

performing that hasn't become less passionate with age. Iglesias claims

that in concert he feels as vital and, er, potent as he ever did.

"When I'm on the stage, I'm 22 years old from my waist up," Iglesias

said. He quickly added, "From the waist down, I'm 25."

Iglesias jokes about his image as a worldwide sex symbol and lover of

women, but he says his day-to-day existence is probably less romantic

than his fans believe.

"That's a fantasy," he said. "The reality is different. I'm not an

international lover, I'm an international artist. I only make love in

France."

The singer, who calls himself a workaholic, has been steadily churning

out recordings since his career began in 1968 under circumstances that

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