Initially, Iglesias planned to be a lawyer. As he studied, he was a goalkeeper for the Real Madrid football team. His career as an athlete was ended after an automobile accident in the mid-’60s. While he was recovering, Iglesias started playing guitar and writing songs. Before he began a musical career, he finished his law studies at Cambridge University. In 1968, he was a contestant at the 1968 Spanish Song Festival at Benidorm, singing his original song ‘La Vida Sigue Igual.’ Iglesias won the first prize at the contest, which led to a record contract with Discos Columbia, an independent record label.
During the ’70s, he toured Europe and Latin America, gaining a large fan base with hits like 1975’s ‘Manuela.’ By the end of the decade, he was extremely popular — so popular, CBS International sought out a contract with him. He signed with the label in 1978. Iglesias began to record not only in Spanish, but in Italian and French as well. At the turn of the decade, Julio Iglesias began to pursue the American and British markets by concentrating on his English recordings. His efforts began to pay off in 1981, when his cover of ‘Begin the Beguine’ became a number one hit. It was quickly followed by the compilation record Julio, which became a big success in England and America. However, his major crossover success was 1984’s 1100 Bel Air Place, a collection of duets. Featuring the Top Ten hit duet with Willie Nelson ‘To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before,’ the album sold over three million copies in America and peaked at number five on the pop charts; it also spawned ‘All of You,’ a hit duet with Diana Ross. Iglesias’ popularity continued to grow throughout the ’80s, although he only had one more pop crossover hit, 1988’s ‘My Love,’ a duet with Stevie Wonder.