Ariadna Thalia Sodi Miranda was born on 26th August 1971. She known mononymously as Thalía, she is a Mexican singer, songwriter, published author, actress and entrepreneur, who has sung in various languages including Spanish, English, Portuguese, French and Tagalog.
She is recognized as the most successful female solo Mexican artist internationally by media conglomerates such as Univision, Televisa and TV Azteca, while she is often referred to as the “Queen of Latin Pop” by the media internationally, mainly because of her legacy within the Latin pop music scene of the last 25 years. As a solo artist, she has sold over 40 million records worldwide, being considered one of the best selling Latin musicians of all time. She has had 28 Top 10 singles, 15 of which went to No.1 and she has received numerous accolades including two Latin Billboard awards, several Premios Juventud awards and various Latin Grammy nominations.
Apart from her success as a recording artist, Thalía has also had an acclaimed career in acting, as she starred in a variety of soap operas (known as telenovelas) that have aired in over 180 countries with a viewership of more than two billion people, marking history in television ratings and beating various rating records. During the decade of the 1990s, she was converted into a global television icon and was publicly referred to as the reigning “Queen of telenovelas” by the mass media around the world. She was also reported to be the most successful and best-paid telenovela actress in history, as stated by Televisa, the largest mass media company in the Spanish-speaking world.
In 2008, the British tabloid The Sun named her one of “the 50 female singers who will never be forgotten” and in 2011, Terra Networks included her in their list of “the most powerful and iconic women in music”. She is also an occasional fashion designer and has her own nationally syndicated radio show, while she is an accomplished author having released four books, one of them being her personal memoir. On December 5, 2013 she will be honored with her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, as a recognition for her successful career in music and entertainment.
Thalía was born in Mexico City, Mexico. She is the daughter of Ernesto Sodi Pallares, who was a scientist, doctor of pathology, criminologist and writer, and Yolanda Miranda Mange, who was a painter and Thalía’s manager from 1980 to 1999. Thalía is the youngest of five daughters. She has four sisters, Laura Zapata (daughter of Guillermo Zapata Pérez de Utrera), Federica, Gabriela and Ernestina Sodi.
When she turned one year old, Thalía appeared in her first TV commercial in Mexico . When she turned Four, she began taking ballet and piano classes at the National Conservatory of Music of Mexico. Thalía’s father suffered from diabetes when Thalía was only six years old. He died in 1977. Years later, Thalia realized that her father’s death traumatized her drastically, since she couldn’t talk to anyone for a whole year. This lead her to CDH, childhood disintegrative disorder, which belongs to a series of developmental disorders caused by autism spectrum. Her mother brought her to many psychologists at an early age.
Thalía went to Liceo Franco Mexicano elementary school, where she learned to speak French and Spanish fluently at a very young age. In 1976, a year before her father’s death, she appeared in a Mexican movie La guerra de los pasteles (“War of Cakes”), although her name doesn’t appear in the film credits. As Thalía was also practicing various sports during her infancy, she was inspired by Romanian record-setting athlete Nadia Comaneci. Nadia’s record influenced Thalía to have the desire to follow a career in entertainment. Her older sister, Laura Zapata, was also a singer and she used to take Thalía with her at the theatre, when she was a child. This motivated her to passionately embrace and connect with acting at a very young age.
In 1981, when Thalía was nine years old, she was incorporated as a vocalist in a children’s group named Pac Man, which was formed in order to participate in a popular music festival known as Juguemos a cantar (“Let’s play while singing”), a TV program by Televisa. Later, Pac Man changed their band name to “Din-Din”. Thalía performed various times along with Din-Din in occasional events and parties, touring all over Mexico. The band recorded a total of 4 studio albums between 1982 and 1983 (En acción, Recordando el Rock and Roll, Somos alguien muy especial and Pitubailando), and later it was disbanded.
After the break-up of Din-Din in 1984, Thalía participated as a solo artist in two annual music festivals of Juguemos a cantar. In 1984, she placed second in the festival with the interpretation of the song «Moderna niña del rock» (“Modern rock girl”), and that brought her the opportunity to participate in the chorus of the popular musical Vaselina, a child version of the successful musical Grease, in which the band Timbiriche was acting and singing. The line-up of the band consisted of Sasha Sökol, Benny Ibarra, Erik Rubín, Diego Schoening, Mariana Garza and Paulina Rubio. Timbiriche was highly promoted at the time by Televisa, one of the most massive media enterprises globally and the most important in the Spanish-speaking world. Some time later, Thalía obtained the protagonist role of Sandy Dee in the musical, and she performed in 500 theater presentations of Vaselina along with Timbiriche.
In 1986, after the departure of Sasha Sökol from Timbiriche, Thalía became a member of the band. By that time, Timbiriche had already recorded five albums. In the following year, Thalía was offered to participate in the telenovela Pobre señorita Limantour; this production was actually Thalía’s debut as a TV actress. However, she appeared in only one episode. In the same year, she recorded with Timbiriche the principal theme of the juvenile telenovela Quinceañera (“Fifteen-year-old”), in which Thalía was the co-protagonist with the role of Beatriz. The TV series was awarded as the «Best telenovela» by “Premios TVyNovelas” in 1988 and Thalía was awarded as “the best new actress of 1988”.
With Timbiriche, Thalía recorded four studio albums: Timbiriche VII, the double album Timbiriche VIII y IX and Los clásicos de Timbiriche. The last one is a compilation of the band’s greatest hits, recorded originally in 1987, with new symphonic arrangements as it included the participation of Mexico’s philharmonic orchestra. In 1989, Thalía departed from Timbiriche. In that year, she also starred in another TV series, Luz y sombra (“Light and shadow”), which was her first protagonist role. Some time later she visited Los Angeles in order to take English courses in the University of California. She also attended music, singing, acting and dancing classes before beginning her career as a solo artist.
On July 30, 2009, Thalía recorded her acoustic album, Primera fila, her first album after she signed with Sony Music Entertainment. In October, Thalía performed at the White House, along with other Latin singers, in an event organized by President Barack Obama that celebrated Hispanic heritage. Thalía’s performance was iconic and historic, as she was the first celebrity to publicly invite a United States President to dance.
In October of the same year, she released the first single from Primera fila, a song named Equivocada. In December Thalía released her album, which contained duets with Joan Sebastian and Pedro Capó and various other songs, that became huge radio hits in the following months. The production received critical accept and very positive reviews, while Jason Birchmeier stated that “Primera Fila” was one of the best albums Thalía has released in her whole career, and definitely the one with the most surprises. As for Thalía, she considered Primera Fila as “the most personal album” in her career.
Regarding to the album’s commercial performance, Primera fila received diamond and triple platinum sales certifications in Mexico, where it was announced by the end of 2011 that the album had sold over 500,000 copies according to AMPROFON. Primera fila was the best selling album in Mexico in 2010, where it topped the charts for 55 non-consecutive weeks, the most weeks ever in Mexico’s recorded music chart history.
In Greece and Spain, the album reached the positions No. 6 and No. 32, respectively, while it reached No. 4 in Billboard’s top Latin Albums and No. 2 in Billboard’s Latin Pop Albums charts. Initially, Primera Fila had reached No. 1 on both aforementioned charts, but sales of the standard edition and the Walmart edition were later divided, leading to a retraction and update to Billboard’s official peak positions for Primera Fila. After these changes, Primera fila went from a peak position of #167 to a peak position of #198 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Until the month of October 2012, Primera fila had sold over 1,5 million copies worldwide.
In September 2010, Thalía released a special anniversary edition of the album under the title Primera fila… Un año después, which included 8 songs from the original album, as well as 2 never-released before songs, 2 remixes and a DVD with a documentary of the recording process of the album. In October 2010, Michael Bublé invited her to record a song with him in his holiday album Christmas. Together they recorded the bilingual song «Feliz navidad (Mis deseos)» and their collaboration received very positive reviews.
Thalía had a collaboration with American music veteran Tony Bennett for his “Viva:Duets” album, which was released on October 22, 2012. Together they performed live the classic song “The way you look tonight” in Today’s show and the Katie Couric’s show.
During the past months, she had announced that she was recording her eleventh studio album, Habítame siempre. On September 21, 2012, Thalía gave a private concert in New York City at Hammerstein Ballroom as a preview of the upcoming album. The album’s lead single, “Manías”, was released on October 8, 2012. Habítame siempre was released in November 19, 2012 in the United States and Latin America under the label of Sony Music Latin, while in Europe it is set to be released in 2013 by BMG Music. The album contains collaborations with Robbie Williams, Michael Bublé, Prince Royce and Gilberto Santa Rosa, among others and immensely after its release, it received mostly positive reviews.
“Habitame Siempre” was certified triple platinum plus gold in Mexico for sales of more than 210,000 copies, gold in the United States for shipments exceeding 50,000 copies and platinum in Venezuela for over 10,000 copies shipped. In the meantime the second single of the album, “Te Perdiste Mi Amor”, was certified platinum in Mexico for digital sales of over 60,000 copies.
In March 24, 2013 Thalía launched her VIVA! Tour in support of Habítame Siempre. The VIVA! Tour marks Thalía’s first tour in a decade and consists of a series of intimate concerts in the United States and Latin America. Thalía stated in an interview that she also plans to expand the tour to Europe and Asia if it meets positive commercial reception.
In October 2013, Thalía released in the United States and Latin America her fourth book Chupie (The Binky That Returned Home) and in November 12, Thalía released in Mexico her second live album VIVA! Tour. This album was recorded in April 27, 2013 during her concert in Mexico City. In United States and Latin America, the album was released in December 01, 2013. It was certified gold in Mexico on its second week on the market for sales exceeding 30,000 copies.
Thalia was cast in a supporting role in the 1986 telenovela “Pobre señorita Limantour”, with which she began her collaboration with Televisa, the largest mass media company in the Spanish-speaking world. In 1987, she went on to star in her first major role for Televisa in the 1987 teenage drama series Quinceañera, along with Mexican actress Adela Noriega. “Quinceañera” won the “TV y Novelas” award for Best Telenovela of the Year 1988. In 1989, she got her first lead role in “Luz y Sombra”, which was less successful.
However, Thalía’s explosion in popularity came in 1992, when she starred in “María Mercedes” for which she won a “TV Y Novelas” award as Best Young Actress in 1993.
This series was the first of three telenovelas, named by the Mexican press as “Las Tres Marias” (“The Three Marías”), because the name of the heroine in all of these telenovelas was María. The second telenovela of the trilogy was “Marimar” in 1994, and the third and final was “Maria la del Barrio” in 1995. In 1999, Thalía starred in her latest telenovela, “Rosalinda”. All four telenovelas were basically based on the same rags to riches character. With these telenovelas, Thalía became famous worldwide and was consolidated as a television phenomenon, because of the extremely high ratings her TV series achieved in more than 180 countries (especially Philippines).
Although Thalía’s presence in television is legendary, her presence in cinema is less important. She appeared for the first time in a movie when she was still a child in the 1979 film “La Guerra De los Pasteles” (“The War of the Cakes”). Furthermore, in 1999, she starred in “Mambo Café”, a modest indie film production that had a poor reception from critics, as it was a low budget film.
Thalía has been labeled by various mass media companies as the “queen of soap operas”, because her presence in television during the decade of the 90s was phenomenal. She starred in Mexico’s highest-rated telenovelas ever that were exported in over 180 countries and viewed by more than 2 billion people. It is stated by media experts that at some point at the midst of the telenovela craze, Thalía’s name even became synonymous with her native country, Mexico.
According to the newspaper “Ivoir’Soir”: “At 7.30 sharp in the evening, when Marimar comes on, everything stops in Cote d’Ivoire”. It is also mentioned that “Marimar” could attract more local fans than the 1998 World Cup, and that the program arrived in Africa after being a phenomenal rating hit in Indonesia and the Philippines, where in 1997 she was received in Manila like a foreign head of state.
Thalía stated in her autobiography regarding to the impact of her telenovelas: “Soap operas made a lot of history; just look at the report by UNESCO, where it was noted that “in the Ivory Coast in Africa and in Paris (France), people stopped the daily course of their lives just to watch a soap opera. I never expected that kind of success. Whenever I arrived anywhere, I was treated like royalty; even the press in some of these countries referred to me as the Aztec Queen, the Mexican Queen, or the ambassador of Mexico, and like a proud peacock, I always brought my country’s flag with me wherever I went to represent my motherland. I was in the clouds at the pinnacle of my career. During my visit at the Philippines, the organizers informed me that the last time so many people gathered in the streets for a person was when Pope John Paul the Second came to visit on January fourteenth, 1995.
In the Philippines, the country that probably felt the greatest impact from Marimar, the show was more widely promoted than the 1998 World Cup and more highly rated than the Super Bowl or the Grammys. In fact while I was visiting the country, the people and the media were so enthralled to see Marimar in the flesh that a historic peace treaty between the government and the querillas and the centennial celebrations of the Philippine Revolutions that were happening at the same time were pushed aside in the midst of Marimar fever. As a result, the archipelago was temporarily dubbed “República de MariMar.”
The phenomenon of Thalía’s telenovelas also became visible in countries like Indonesia, Turkey, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Russia, Brazil, Lebanon, France, Egypt, Portugal and the majority of Spanish-speaking countries around the world.
In 2002, Thalía signed a deal with Kmart in order to release her own clothing collection for women, as well as accessories and home products. In the middle of 2003, the “Thalía Sodi” collection was officially available in the US market in over 2,000 stores. Thalía commented: «My collection is a dream that came through. I’m so happy to have created a clothe line inspired by my culture, trying to show the colors and the passion of our culture, that captures also a big part of my personal style». Thalía became the first Mexican woman to launch a clothing brand in the US.
Simultaneously, Thalía debuted her eyewear collection under the brand name “Thalía Eyewear Collection” in association with Kenmark Optical. In 2005, the line also became available in Mexico’s market as Thalía signed a deal with “Devlyn” company. Up to 2007 Thalía had generated 100 million $US from the sales of «Thalía Eyewear», with more than 1 million products sold. Precisely in 2007 Thalía presented a new eyewear collection in New York, and the brand was exported to over eighty countries around the world.
In April 2004, Thalía entered the editorial market by releasing her own magazine Thalía in US, produced by American Media and oriented to the female Latin youth. The magazine included consultation and reports about themes like health, fashion and beauty secrets. Some months later, in September, Thalía became the face of jewels’ company Jacob & Co.
In 2004, Thalía signed a contract with Hershey’s with which she released her chocolate and candy brand. In 2005 Thalía designed a summer clothe line, and in the following year, she was converted into the face of “Carol’s Daughter” company, specialized in beauty products, while in 2007 she launched her perfume, produced by “Fuller Cosmetics” company. In 2007, she joined ABC Radio and started her own radio show known as “The Conexión Thalía Radio Show”, in which she discusses music, fashion, news and political issues, and invites various people to talk with her on different issues. The program, that is weekly and lasts two hours premiered on March 17, 2007 and still goes on, while it has expanded to over 70 radio stations through the US.
In September 2007, she released “Thalía: ¡Belleza!-Lessons in Lipgloss and Happiness” while in June 2009, she released her second book entitled “Thalia: ¡Radiante!-Your Guide to a Fit and a Fabulous Pregnancy”. In May 2010, Thalía revealed new accessories and jewels available via her website, apart from a new clothing line in association with multinational company C&A. In February 2011, she became the new face of Head & Shoulders and in November, she released her third book, which is her autobiography and named “Growing Stronger”. Thalía has also been the public face of various advertisements, like Dr Pepper in 2001 or Victoria’s Secret in 2005. According to Mira! magazine, in 2008 it was estimated that Thalía was one of the most wealthy Mexican businesswomen with a net worth of over 100 million $US. In April 2012, she inaugurated her own yoga center in New York.
Thalía is married to music executive Tommy Mottola in New York City at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on December 2, 2000. Since then, she has been living in Connecticut with her husband and their two children, a daughter named Sabrina Sakae and a son named Matthew Alejandro. Thalía has stated in her autobiography and in various of her interviews, that she has a deep connection with religion, and believes profoundly in God. She also began studying Kabbalah in 2002, while she used many of its symbols in the artwork of her album El Sexto Sentido.
In September 2002, Thalía’s sisters, Laura Zapata and Ernestina Sodi, were kidnapped in Mexico City. Zapata was released 18 days after her kidnapping, and her sister Ernestina was released on the 36th day. Thalía has had a series of familial conflicts, especially with her sister Laura Zapata. However, she has opted to keep her point of view regarding to her familial issues in privacy, despite the attacks she has received from her elder sister. In a press interview, Thalía stated that her familial problems with her sister are “just a dark cloud in a shiny sky”.
In 2008, Thalía was affected by Lyme disease, an emerging infectious disease caused by at least three species of bacteria belonging to the genus “Borrelia” and transmitted to humans by the bite of infected ticks belonging to a few species of the genus “Ixodes”. Thalía’s illness prevented her from promoting her album Lunada, while it functioned as a motivation for her to have a totally different perspective towards life. In reference to her illness, Thalia stated in her autobiography : “I would sweat profusely, soaking my pajamas, the sheets and even the mattress; everything hurt, even my hair, which, by the way, started to fall out. At times it felt as if my head were going to burst, as if there were lead inside of it; my eyes ached in their sockets….the hypersensitivity of my skin was so severe that sometimes I couldn’t even handle the bed sheets.”
Thalía has participated in various humanitarian campaigns. Since 2004, she has been an official celebrity ambassador and volunteer of March of Dimes, in order to support national fundraising and awareness campaigns. March of Dimes is a United States nonprofit organization that works to improve the health of mothers and babies. Through various public service campaigns and through her own media channels, Thalia has been a strong voice for March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign. She also is featured in March of Dimes Education and Health Promotion materials in English and Spanish, while she has helped to raise awareness and critical funds for the March of Dimes year-round. Furthermore, she supports March for Babies and works to find ongoing opportunities for March of Dimes strategic alliances and media promotions.
In 2006, Thalía along with her husband attended the event A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Cure Parkinson’s with the aim to economically support the foundation The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research of Michael J. Fox.
In May 2009, Thalía and Tommy Mottola were recognized from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Miami for their support in children in need. In 2010, she reunited with other recording artists, performers and actors like Sharon Stone, Michael Douglas, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony between others, in order to raise funds for the “Foundation of the New York’s police department”, which works for better urban security. In 2011, she attended a beneficial event in New York, organized by the Robin Hood Foundation with the aim to raise money for homeless youth. In the same year, she closed the Mexican Teleton by offering a live concert.
Thalía is also a member of “ALAS Foundation”, which is a non-profit organization that strives to launch a new social movement that will generate a collective commitment to comprehensive Early Childhood Development programs for the children in Latin America. In November 2012, Thalía took humanitarian aid and comfort to compatriots of her in New York that were affected by Hurricane Sandy. She stated : “When I started seeing the destruction of Sandy I thought it was incredible, but, when I saw my Mexican brothers and sisters I felt the need to try and do something for them” in front of a group of families gathered at the Staten Island Immigrant Information Center in one of the most devastated by the storm areas. She went on to say that in times like this an artist should use the reach of the media to collect aid for the victims, and at the same time she called on the public to deposit money in the account opened by the Mexican Consulate for that purpose.
In April 2013, Thalía was awarded with the “Your Voice Inspires Many” award by the Lyme Research Alliance.
According to Thalia herself, her major personal influence was her mother, who was a motivating manager for Thalia from the very beginning of her career until 2000. As for her artistic influences, Thalia’s work is mostly influenced by Gloria Estefan, Celine Dion, Sade, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, The Doors, Michael Jackson and Kylie Minogue, while she has stated that she always admired Marilyn Monroe and Madonna. Thalia’s first idol, according to her, was athlete Nadia Comaneci. She has even stated that her record-breaking performance was a huge motivation for her to follow a career in entertainment.
Thalia said “I don’t know what happens to me when I’m on stage. Now, I am like a little kiddie cat prrrr and when I’m on the stage, I am like a lion grrrr. Forget it.”
The following honors are among the recognition that Thalia has received:
As of 1997, Los Angeles declared April 25 “Thalia Day”.
She has been Queen of the Miami Carnival and Queen of the Broadway party in Los Angeles.
A wax figure of Thalia was unveiled in Mexico City.
Thalia had a role on another soap opera, Rosalinda and recently appeared in the feature film Mambo Caf. Her latest album Arrasondo has so far spawned a Billboard Top 10 Latin Track.
Her official website is located at http://www.thalia.com
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