Luis Miguel and Armando Manzanero they formed a successful duo that triumphed from the first album they recorded together, Romance (1991), and on the three upcoming albums. The Mexican composer died on Monday at the age of 85, after fighting Covid-19, and that artistic relationship between the master of boleros and El Sol de México will remain in the memory as part of his prolific career.
The musical society that they formed was of great importance in their respective careers, and they reflected it in ‘Luis Miguel, the series’, where Manzanero was played by actor Pierre David. Beyond the fictional licenses of the Netflix-produced strip, it was clear that the artist’s decision to turn to the genre of romantic ballads was accompanied by the key role of the Mexican composer’s lyrics.
Romance: Manzanero and Luis Miguel on the wave of success
In different interviews Manzanero revealed that none of the twelve songs that they included in that first album were “new”, quite the opposite: “I had written them forty years ago, many of them, others thirty years ago, and they found their place when Luis Miguel interpreted them“.
That turn in the singer’s career meant a crossing of generations, where grandmothers, mothers and teenagers sang the same melodies. After the resounding worldwide success, they made two other albums together: Segundo Romance (1994); Romances (1997); and in 2001 Manzanero collaborated in Mis romances.
However, at the end of the ’90s the relationship had already had its conflicts, and the journalists who interviewed them always asked them about the status of their “labor duo”. During one of his visits to Santiago de Chile, in 1997, the presenter Álvaro Salas asked Luis Miguel: “Is it true that Armando Manzanero is as short as they say? Because they say his greatest success was under the table“.
This attempt to expose any riskiness was thrown overboard by the artist, who left his interviewer speechless: “Look, you can measure his height from head to sky and Armando Manzanero is taller than you“.
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“Ungrateful and selfish”: Manzanero against Luis Miguel
In 2017 Manzanero spoke in Sale el Sol (Imagen Televisión) and confessed that his relationship with the singer had been turned upside down by the latest attitudes of the interpreter. There the hard metaphor expressed by the composer became famous: “It is easier for an elephant to enter through the eye of a needle than for Luis Miguel to do something for others“.
That step from “love to hate” had among its reasons the singer’s decision not to participate in another artist’s tour, and to notify at the last minute that he was withdrawing from the tour. “He left a man who is great, like the singer Alejandro Fernández, badly. If you did that, What can you expect from him? He went crazyManzanero said in front of the journalists.
“There are people who do not know gratitude. I don’t want to talk about him, but I think the truth is, what a shame, “he added. Meanwhile, the Sun of Mexico was silent, concentrating on recording his album ¡México por siempre! Which was released that same year.
United they will never be defeated
By 2018 the link had improved and Manzanero did not evade the question that the press asked him the most: “Are you in a fight with Luis Miguel?“. At 83 years of age, the master composer assured in dialogue with Suelta la sopa (Televisa) that he felt nothing but admiration for the singer: “I congratulate him with all my soul, I am very proud to have participated in several works with him“.
He even left the door open to a last collaboration together when the artist wanted: “Really, the fruits that our union has given us, and the quality of things that it has given to the youth, is something that is paid for nothing; if I ever wanted to return to the romantic world I would like to participate“.
Rogue and intelligent to answer questions about his confrontations and his old sayings about the singer, Manzanero explained: “You have to understand that this is a business. The interpreters are looking for their success every day, and our work as songwriters is always temporary ”.
“So, if we’re doing well, even if I don’t like you, on stage I’ll hug you,” he said, making clear the importance of maintaining serenity in any artistic society so that it continues to function. At the end, Manzanero opened up about Luis Miguel’s talent: “It is definitely the biggest, there is no other. Interpreting is the best. It is imposed, and it showed that the classic never goes out of style“.