Latino R&B/reggae singer Flex first emerged in 1997 and, following years of climbing the mixtape ladder, solidified his solo career in 2008 with the smash hit record Te Quiero. Flex began his career appearing on the disc De Censura, Vol. 1, featured on the song "Como Puedo Cantar," a duet with Toby King. Though locally successful, the disc did not offer significant forward motion. In 2000, the young singer was discovered by reggae producer Celia Torres, sewing seeds for what would become a major breakthrough. Flex was offered the opportunity to appear on a mix disc called Las Propias 2000, performing alongside singer Duende on the track "Dejala." The song became a hit throughout Latin America, generating significant airplay in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Venezuela, Peru, and Ecuador. Flex's next collaboration with Torres proved even more successful. Together they produced "La Balada de Flex," a sensitive ballad dedicated to his late mother, hitting airwaves as much of Latin America was ramping up for Mother's Day. The song became an instant success, soon considered an urban hymn for Latina mothers. Following the song's success, Flex was regularly solicited for collaborations and mixtape appearances. Among the more notable was the 2003 disc Triple X, which became a best-seller in Ecuador in the year of its release. The young artist made more than 40 concert appearances in 2003 thanks to his Ecuadorian fan base. As his popularity continued to flourish, so did the need for a solo disc. Flex began preparing and writing the repertoire that would make up his solo debut in 2006. Years of hard work paid off in 2008 with the release of Te Quiero, landing a spot on Billboard's Top 200 and placing at number five on Billboard's Top Latin Albums category. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez

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