ISM Presents: Victor Manuelle

Celebrating 30 years of the life and music of Victor Manuelle, the Puerto Rican sensation whose soulful voice and passionate music have set hearts ablaze on the global stage.

La Vida De Un Artista (Official Video)

Victor Manuelle

Victor Manuelle Portraint (2023-11-09) by Victor Manuelle/Sony Music LatinInternational Salsa Museum

From the Beginning

Víctor Manuelle, born Víctor Manuel Ruiz Velázquez, embraced salsa's rhythms from greats like Fania-Allstars and others. Raised by a salsa-loving father, he soaked in the robust "salsa gorda" tunes of the 70s and 80s. His journey from there defined his iconic music career. 

Young Victor Manuelle (2023-11-09) by Victor Manuelle/Sony Music LatinInternational Salsa Museum

From Isabela to the Big Stage

As a child, he quickly found his great passion: music. Víctor Manuelle recalls that he started singing with amateur orchestras in his hometown of Isabela at a very young age. He was also part of the school band as a trumpeter and continued taking music lessons.

Gilberto Santa Rosa and Victor Manuelle Rehearsing (2023-11-09) by Victor Manuelle/Sony Music LatinInternational Salsa Museum

Meeting His Idol Gilberto Santa Rosa for the 1st time

But his life took a big turn on the day he attended a graduation party, where the headlining orchestra was Gilberto Santa Rosa's, one of the musicians he admired the most.

Victor Manuelle and Gilberto Santa Rosa Rehearsal (2023-11-09) by Victor Manuelle/Sony Music LatinInternational Salsa Museum

Opportunity of a Lifetime

In 1988,Gilberto Santa Rosa changed Víctor's life. Friends mentioned his singing talent to Gilberto during a performance. Unexpectedly, Gilberto brought him onstage, kickstarting his career. Impressed, Gilberto recommended him to Don Perignon, setting Víctor on his salsa journey.

How It Started

Gilberto Santa Rosa and Don Perignon give Victor Manuelle an opportunity.

Video of Victor Manuelle performing with Don Perignon. 

Victor Manuelle Prepping to dance. (2023-11-09) by Victor Manuelle/Sony Music LatinInternational Salsa Museum

New Life Chapter

From then on, and for five years, Víctor Manuelle lent his voice to important orchestras of the time, performing alongside Marvin Santiago, Tito Allen, Adalberto Santiago, Domingo Quiñones, and Ray Ruiz, among others.

Victor Manuelle Gaining Experience

Once introduced to Domingo Quiñones and other artists Victor started performing a lot more and worked on developing his artistry.

Victor Manuelle Signing Autographs (2023-11-09) by Victor Manuelle/Sony Music LatinInternational Salsa Museum

Solo Debut

In 1993, his big opportunity arose: to start his solo career under the Sony Tropical Record Label. The significant solo debut happened with the album "Justo a Tiempo," for which his musical mentor, Gilberto Santa Rosa, served as the producer.

Victor Manuelle Concert fans (2023-11-09) by Victor Manuelle/Sony Music LatinInternational Salsa Museum

The album "Justo a Tiempo" had a significant impact on Víctor Manuelle's career. Not only did it solidify Víctor's place in the industry but also laid the foundation for his journey to becoming the renowned "Sonero de la Juventud."

Debut Album

Victor Manuelle Album Debut/Song: Me Dara El Consentimiento

Victor Manuelle Live In Concert 2 (2023-11-09) by Victor Manuelle/Sony Music LatinInternational Salsa Museum

From Isabela to the World

In 1996, his second album "Víctor Manuelle," produced by Sergio George, struck gold in Colombia, Central America, and the US. This signaled the start of his global solo journey, featuring hits like "Hay que poner el alma," "Pensamiento y palabra," and "Como una estrella."

Victor Manuelle in his element. (2023-11-09) by Victor Manuelle/Sony Music LatinInternational Salsa Museum

Birth of a Salsa Icon

In 1997, Víctor Manuelle teamed up with Sergio George again for "A Pesar De Todo." Tracks like "Dile a Ella," "He Tratado," and "Mentiras" became global hits. His music resonated worldwide, solidifying his international recognition.

From Isabela to Madison Square Garden/Victor Manuelle Performs one of his biggest hits " He Tratado"

Celia Cruz y Victor Manuelle, Victor Manuelle/Sony Music Latin, 2023-11-09, From the collection of: International Salsa Museum
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Victor Manuelle en Concierto, Victor Manuelle/Sony Music Latin, 2023-11-09, From the collection of: International Salsa Museum
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From honoring Celia Cruz to captivating stages like Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden, Víctor Manuelle's journey shines. His performances at esteemed venues like Centro de Bellas Artes and Coliseo de Puerto Rico also mark vital milestones in his illustrious career. 

Victor Manuelle Live in Concert (2023-11-09) by Victor Manuelle/Sony Music LatinInternational Salsa Museum

Role Model to Younger Artists

Collaborations with Don Omar, Tego Calderón, Yandel, and more followed, bridging salsa and urban styles. Victor achieved success in both the salsa and urban markets, proving that he could evolve while preserving his musical essence, while also supporting the younger generations.

Victor Manuelle Lado A Lado B Cover (2023-11-09) by Victor Manuelle/Sony Music LatinInternational Salsa Museum

Latest Album: Lado A Lado B

In 2022, Víctor Manuelle's impactful release "Lado A Lado B" embraced dual musical worlds. From his roots in Salsa to fusion, the album earned Latin Grammy and Grammy nominations, with "Decidí tener pantalones" nominated for a 2023 Premios Juventud Tropical Hit award.

Celebracion de 30 Años (2023-11-09) by Victor Manuelle/Sony Music LatinInternational Salsa Museum

Celebrating 30 Years

His dedication to the genre and his ability to connect with listeners on a profound level has solidified his status as a beloved figure in Latin music around the world, and his music has become the soundtrack of our lives.

Paco López, Víctor Manuelle y Jorge Pérez (2023-11-09) by Victor Manuelle/Sony Music LatinInternational Salsa Museum

Coliseo De Puerto Rico Sold Out Two Nights in a Row - June 2023

Sold-out shows

Victor Manuelle Celebrating 30 years of his Career at El Coliseo De Puerto Rico

Reconocimiento senado, Victor Manuelle/Sony Music Latin, 2023-11-09, From the collection of: International Salsa Museum
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Reconocimiento, Victor Manuelle/Sony Music Latin, 2023-11-09, From the collection of: International Salsa Museum
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Reconocimiento Isabela, Victor Manuelle/Sony Music Latin, 2023-11-09, From the collection of: International Salsa Museum
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Beyond his musical success, Víctor Manuelle shines for his philanthropy. Since 2015, he's voiced the De Frente al Alzheimer foundation, aiding 400+ Puerto Rican families with Alzheimer's care costs, including nursing, medical expenses, and supplies. His commitment extends beyond melodies to meaningful impact. He has been awarded by numerous organizations for his philanthropic work.

Homenaje a Victor Manuelle Event, Victor Manuelle/Sony Music Latin, 2023-11-09, From the collection of: International Salsa Museum
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Homenaje a Victor Manuelle Event 2, Victor Manuelle/Sony Music Latin, 2023-11-09, From the collection of: International Salsa Museum
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Guinness world record - 29 de noviembre de 2018, Victor Manuelle/Sony Music Latin, 2023-11-09, From the collection of: International Salsa Museum
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Guinness world record - 6 de diciembre de 2018, Victor Manuelle/Sony Music Latin, 2023-11-09, From the collection of: International Salsa Museum
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Guinness world record - 27 de septiembre de 2018, Victor Manuelle/Sony Music Latin, 2023-11-09, From the collection of: International Salsa Museum
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Guinness world record - 27 de septiembre de 2018(2), Victor Manuelle/Sony Music Latin, 2023-11-09, From the collection of: International Salsa Museum
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With 30 years of an extraordinary career, Victor Manuelle has accomplished World Records that no other artist has accomplished. This is truly unique and goes to show that with hard work and dedication anything can be accomplished. Victor Manuelle is a clear example of that. 

Career Accomplishments of Victor Manuelle

30 Years of Dedication to the Music Industry. Victor Manuelle is an Icon.

Victor Manuelle public appreciation (2023-11-09) by Victor Manuelle/Sony Music LatinInternational Salsa Museum

From ISM To Victor Manuelle

Victor Manuelle is an artist who has dedicated his life to music and we at the International Salsa Museum will forever recognize him as an artistic icon that is truly an inspiration to millions of people around the world. Thank you for all that you have done. Que Viva La Salsa!

Credits: Story

The International Salsa Museum would like to say thank you to Micheline Medina and everyone at SONY Music Latin for helping us curate this virtual exhibit for Victor Manuelle. Lastly, thank you to our Google Arts and Culture Family for supporting us throughout this process. 

All Photographs are courtesy of Sony Music Latin.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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