Enrique Iglesias receives the harshest reviews of his career for his smash hit tour, but is the show really that bad?


The Spanish singer announces his retirement and sells his music catalog in a reported nine-figure deal

Enrique Iglesias performs in Kiev, Ukraine, in 2018
Enrique Iglesias performs in Kiev, Ukraine, in 2018SHUTTERSTOCK

Enrique Iglesias, 48, hasn't released an album since 2021. Despite that, his career seems to be going from strength to strength. In his native Spain, his name is barely heard (especially after skipping his socialite sister Tamara Falcó's wedding), and radios rarely play his music. Yet, Isabel Preysler's son is dominating across the pond. His collaboration with Argentine star María Becerra, Así es la vida, has racked up over 70 million streams in just two months and his latest tour has become the third best-selling tour in the United States, according to Pollstar. And not only that, the Latin star has just sold his catalog of songs to Warner Music-backed Influence Media for a reported nine figures, according to Bloomberg. In other words, a deal worth, at the very least, over 100 million.

To put things into perspective, Enrique Iglesias released his last album two years ago, Final Volume 1, and remains a commercially successful artist on streaming platforms, with over 26 million monthly listeners on Spotify. Throughout his career, which dates back to 1995, Influence Media's data indicates over 180 million copies of his albums sold. The Madrid-born artist remains one of the most successful Latin artists in pop history, having won a Grammy and five Latin Grammys. But that was the past.

Now, his focus is on The Trilogy Tour. A 25-date tour featuring reggaeton star Pitbull, superstar Ricky Martin, and Iglesias himself. Overall, the show has received positive reviews from the media, praising the sound quality, live band, and the repertoire full of hits. However, social media has taken a swipe at Enrique, criticizing him for numerous flaws. Some of his detractors claim that he doesn't know his own lyrics, others point out that he is short of breath, and the harshest comments suggest that he is incapable of hitting the high notes. "Iglesias sings like Mickey Mouse," claims one viral TikTok video. In essence, Iglesias is facing his worst yet best moment in his career.

Enrique hasn't responded to the criticism so far. But he did make a surprising announcement to his fans. "I've been working for a couple of years on my next album, and that will be my final album. That's it. I don't think I'll do another one. No... The truth is, I know I won't make more albums," he revealed to Today a week ago. After this news broke, international press began seeking an explanation for his retirement. It seems inconceivable that a musician who has sold so many records would decide to call it quits. But all signs indicate his retirement is linked to this criticism.

EL MUNDO visited the Crypto Arena in Los Angeles to experience firsthand one of The Trilogy Tour shows. After three hours of music, dance, and screams (from over 20,000 people), it's fair to say the spectacle is far from a disaster. In fact, the concert exudes a party atmosphere, like a carnival or New Year's celebration. Absolutely no one remains seated.

Pitbull, with a five-member band, proves he can sing live, and Ricky delivers 45 minutes of wild entertainment. And Enrique? To be fair, Iglesias is the most applauded man of the show. The audience seems to swoon in his wake, stirring up emotions by allowing fans to touch him and encouraging his followers (mostly female, it must be said) to get as close as possible. The same goes for his backing vocalists.

During Loco, the Spaniard kneels in front of one of his fans and spends much of the song singing beneath her legs. Later, he stands up only to embrace her forcefully, provoking hysterical shrieks from the audience. Enrique also displays a considerable swagger, making the few men attending the tour feel gallant at his side. "There are more women than men here today, so congratulations to the guys. You are very clever, motherf**kers," he remarks with a half-smile.

Enrique has always stated he doesn't want to resemble his father, Julio Iglesias. But he is certainly becoming more and more like him. Perhaps his voice doesn't resemble even a bit of the Spanish music icon, but his attitude can only be inherited. Like his father, Enrique is... a hustler, a gentleman. But he also differs greatly from the singer of Me olvidé de vivir. Iglesias moves across the stage like a gorilla, lacking grace, wild, unable to stand still — the opposite of his father.

Enrique kisses the ground countless times. Just like the Pope does when descending from a plane, Iglesias brings his mouth close to the stage — which is strange, very strange. Stranger, though, is how little you can understand him when he sings, whether in English or Spanish. It's challenging to follow the lyrics, because he eats most of the words.. Nonetheless, it should be noted that there are songs that are very comfortable for him and that he sings with particular ease. Among them are Bailando, Súbeme la radio, and Duele el corazón.

Overall, Iglesias' show isn't bad. However, it's essential to acknowledge there are songs that expose his weaknesses, like Bailamos, Be With You, and Escape. His voice doesn't sound harmonious, just harsh. But at least he tries. Just like when he sings I Like It, where he has to raise his voice to a very high pitch. It's evident Iglesias doesn't get here, but his audience immensely appreciates the effort. There's no doubt Enrique captivates the audience. And quite possibly, he'll do it again when he finally returns to his native Spain in 2024.