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Top Five Deep Thoughts on Merengue-Pop Star Elvis Crespo

Born in New York City and reared in Puerto Rico, Elvis Crespo will forever be known as the baby-faced merengue-pop crooner behind the 1998 international smash hit "Suavemente." At that burgeoning time of serious powerhouse Latin male vocalists, Crespo suffered from the fading memory of one-hit wonder Gerardo's "Rico Suave" track and fell off the English-language radar. But County Grind is an un-doer of injustice and righter of wrongs!

While Crespo might've appeared like a kitschy flash-in-pan temporary crossover singer, truth be told, he's actually gone to enjoy a successful career, spanning nine full-length albums, a handful of singles and continued appeal across the Spanish-speaking nations of this hemisphere. Even the 2010, World Cup winning Spaniards celebrated on their return flight by singing in unison his 1999 single, "Píntame."

Though a household name in the Spanish-speaking world, he hasn't gone entirely without a wee bit of controversy; but more on that after the jump. In the meantime, let's look at a couple of points throughout this Grammy- and Latin Grammy-winning singer's career that have kept him at the top of Spanish dance and pop arenas.

5. The Michael Jackson Connection

If you're going to creep into everybody's brain, whether they speak Spanish or not with the "Suavemente" song, you might as well be like the Smooth Criminal himself and adopt the angled-fedora style. Oh wait, there it is!

4. Gerardo Has Nothing to Do with It

It's not fair; it simply isn't fair that Enrique Iglesias was not around then, and that Ricky Martin had not fully exploded, so that larger audiences would embrace Crespo as a multilingual artist and not a one-hit wonder. If anything, it was Gerardo's fault, because even though his 1990 single was already a faded memory, it was the "suave" in the song that brought back the nightmares.

3. Not All Male Spanish Singing Groups are Menudo

Ha, hah, ha! It's funny how everyone remembers Menudo but doesn't actually remember Menudo. Menudo was a Helluva lot cooler than your Backstreet Boys or your 'N Syncs, but we guess it's funnier to say "Menudo" than even those two other lame names. Crespo got his first chops on the music scene when he joined the then fledgling Puerto Rican dance outfit Grupo Manía in 1994.

2. ¿Béisbol?

Elvis Crespo, though named after Elvis Presley, originally had intentions of becoming a professional baseball player. Scores of young women are thankful that he did not, while scores of Yankees fans are relatively happy that another Puerto Rican phenomenon chose to wait until athletic retirement to fully indulge in his music hobby.

1. When in Doubt, Deny Everything

While it did not become news a la Pee Wee Herman, Crespo did have a slight brush with the authorities when on a flight from Houston to Miami in 2009, he was accused of masturbating on the plane and exposing himself to a passenger. While nothing conclusive ever seemed to result from the investigation, one can't help but wonder if this track, off his latest album, Los Monsters, is a delayed reaction to the accusations. Interpret the video as you will.

Elvis Crespo, 8 p.m., Saturday, May 4, at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, 5550 NW 40th St., Coconut Creek. Ticket cost $35 to $55. Visit seminolecoconutcreekcasino.com.

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