He recorded his first album at age 15, but it was only released the following year, when he was 16. And, in August, Isabel Pantoja turned 66: “So it’s been 50 years since the release of my first album, 50 years in a scenario, which is said very early”, explains Isabel Pantoja in an exclusive interview that she has just given to the magazine Hello!. The first one he gives in four years. The latter was also on these same pages.
In them she talks about her tour of the Americas, where she hung the “sold out” sign at each of the shows that took her to Florida, New York, Los Angeles and San Juan de Puerto Rico. A return to the stage has not been easy for the artist, as she confesses: “It’s costing me… with my mother, with my brother, the truth…”. Her mother, Ana Martín, popularly known as Doña Ana, an essential pillar in the singer’s career and personal life, died in September 2021, and her older brother, Bernardo, in November 2022. Both figures remain present throughout the entire interview, as well as her late husband, Francisco Rivera Paquirri, whom she also mentions when taking stock of the most difficult moments of her career: “The hardest thing for me was coming back after my husband died. And now it’s costing me […]. Those were the hardest times I went through.”
“I can say that I was a phoenix. Well, it wasn’t, I’ve felt like a phoenix many times over these 50 years”, confesses Isabel Pantoja. Among her projects for this year, in addition to the tour, is the recording of an album on the occasion of her birthday, about which the singer does not give details. He also speaks with enthusiasm about having received an invitation to the next Ball of the Roses in Monaco, an invitation that was initially interpreted as a joke: “Well, it’s just that when my brother tells me: ‘You were invited to the Ball of the Roses’, I stare and say, ‘Me?’ ‘Yes, to Monaco’, he told me, and I replied: ‘Let’s go with that nonsense!’ Clear. I didn’t believe it. And look what life is like, because all my life I’ve admired Grace Kelly and I’ve always felt an affectionate affection for Carolina”. The tonadillera explains that she always felt that Carolina de Monaco and she had parallel lives: “We are the same age, the same thing happened overnight and without knowing each other, we still don’t know each other, I felt so close to her at that moment” .
What the singer says can be as significant in the interview as what she doesn’t say, even if she says it in a veiled way. Many things happened in those four years of silence. In 2021, an open confrontation with her son, Kiko Rivera, arose over the inheritance and assets of his father, Paquirri, which according to his son, the artist did not get in her favor, something that Isabel Pantoja does not speak about. Although, yes, he grants Cantora’s interview, the artist’s house that became one of the central axes of this battle. What he does not mention is the health status of his son, who suffered a mild stroke last October, and whom he does not mention at any time during the interview.
Nor does it mention the death of María Navarro, who was his representative and right-hand man for more than two decades, in May 2022, who had suffered from Alzheimer’s for years, and for whom journalist Chelo García-Cortés confronted the singer for the behavior he allegedly he had for years with that essential person in his life and career: “I told you: ‘She’s sick, go see her.’ You never went, you never called. Well, you already know, María Navarro died surrounded by people who really loved her”, said the journalist.
When he talks about his mother and what she meant throughout his life and career, he highlights silence and the virtue of knowing how to stay in the background: “They always talked about Pantoja’s mother. And La Pantoja’s mother was a mother, a mother, who had an artist daughter. But let it be clear, she was with her daughter her whole life because I wanted it that way and I felt the happiest in the world. She was always five steps behind me, I mean, she never wanted to be in the spotlight, nor was she in a magazine or on television. She was a mother whose daughter came out as an artist, period”, explains the singer, adding: “She was silent all her life and left silent”.
What Isabel Pantoja says is that if she could give her 20- or 25-year-old self any advice, it would be clear: “Do the same as you did, don’t regret anything… You’re welcome. . Because if you did that , it’s because I was in your way.