Jon Secada, or Juan Francisco Secada Martinez, is one famous South Florida homeboy.
Estefan, South Florida's foremost diva and mentor for rising stars, gave him his start when she hired him as a back-up singer and employed him as a songwriter. He repaid her support by penning her number one smash "Coming Out of the Dark," and sharing vocals on it. When he toured with Estefan on the Coming Out of the Dark tour, he was given a solo spot in the show, helping to sow the seeds that later allowed him to break out on his own.
Secada kept his local ties intact throughout his solo career, as evidenced by the hometown talent he recruited for his second album, Heart, Soul & A Voice, which eventually went platinum and spawned a top ten hit in "If You Go." The all-star South Florida lineup included his former employer's band, the Miami Sound Machine, trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, and soul singer Betty Wright.
Secada continues to contribute material to other homegrown artists. Among the most notable entry is the song "Bella," which he co-wrote for an artist many consider an integral part of living la vida loca, Ricky Martin. The track helped propel Martin's 1999 eponymous album into the sonic stratosphere, eventually reaping sales of several million copies.
Likewise, Secada shared his talents with Miami resident Enrique Iglesias, singing backup vocals on two tracks, "Don't Turn Off the Lights" and "Love 4 Fun," on the singer's multi-platinum seller Escape.
If there's any further proof needed that Secada has stayed true to his local roots, one need only look at his charitable deeds that have benefitted the SoFla community. We all owe him a shout out for his efforts in support of Jackson Memorial Hospital, Amigos Together for Kids, and the Jon Secada Music Scholarship at UM.
Bien hecho, Jon. Muy bueno.