Héctor Acosta

Héctor Acosta, first introduced to the tropical music world as vocalist for the famous Toros Band, first found his voice in church. As a member of the choir at San Antonio de Paula Church, Acosta discovered his love for song amid the ritual and incense. In 1982, having sung for years only inside the walls of the church, Acosta learned of a singing competition sponsored by a local radio station. Sneaking off for the qualification rounds paid off, as he ultimately took first place. Once the doors were opened to public performance, the young talent flourished, and he participated in a number of local groups who played clubs and festivals in the surrounding area. In addition to singing, Héctor played a variety of instruments, acting as bass player for the popular Bonao band Los Gentiles. After a 1989 performance with the group, Acosta was introduced to Gerardo Diaz, whom he had impressed with his improvisational ability and stage presence. Diaz was manager for the renown Toros Band. He made Acosta a life-changing offer, and by 1991 Acosta's voice was heard all over Dominican radio. Los Toros Band's record Se Soltaron became a national hit, featuring the young and talented Héctor Acosta. The singer enjoyed success and widespread acclaim with the group, with a number of hits during his years as a member, including the landmark album Raices. In 2006, after 15 years under the wing of his artistic mentors Gerardo and Juan Pablo Diaz, Acosta left the group to form his own orchestra. His premier release as a solo artist came in October of the same year. Sigo Siendo Yo generated radio hits such as "Me Voy" and "Primavera Azul," which showed up on U.S. and Dominican tropical music charts. Acosta began performing widely in dance halls, festivals, and clubs alongside some of merengue's most popular artists. While 2008's Mitad/Mitad followed in the merengue style, the following year's Simplemente... El Torito wove bachata into the mix and peaked at 20 on the Latin Albums chart and made the year-end Top Latin Albums list. Arriving in 2010, Oblígame did even better, scoring ten places higher, while its single, "Me Duele la Cabeza," placed squarely inside the Top 50 on the Hot Latin Songs chart. Both albums were certified gold, and Oblígame was nominated for a Latin Grammy for Best Tropical Album. Not to be outdone, Machete Music decided to cash in on the action and released The Ultimate Bachata Collection the same year. Acosta's touring schedule was packed. Not only did he play the Caribbean and the U.S., but he performed concerts across Latin America. He wasn't able to return to the studio until late 2011. The release of Con el Corazón Abierto in September of 2012 reached the Top Three on the Tropical Albums chart, and peaked in the Top 15 in the Hot Latin Albums survey, while its single, "Tu Veneno," became his third number one single on the Tropical Songs list; it was followed by "No Soy un Hobre Malo," which placed inside the Top 30 on the Hot Latin Songs chart. Again, this success prompted a period of extended promotional touring. He independently issued the Merengue y Sentimiento collection in 2015, while continuing to tour. The same year he was invited to the U.S. White House by President Barack Obama and presented with an award for his lifetime achievement in music, as well as his charitable efforts on behalf of the Dominican community. Acosta's songs have been covered by everyone from Romeo Santos to Jorge Calderon to Alejandro Fernández, and have been remixed by RKM & Ken-Y and Don Omar. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez

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