The loves of Julio Iglesias

Singer Julio Iglesias is seen in Cartagena, Colombia Dec. 15, 2003. Iglesias, father of seven, is on a world promotion tour pushing his first album (titled "divorcio") since the successful "Noche de Cuatro Lunas" in 2001. AP Photo

Julio Iglesias doesn't really mind going home, and who came blame him when home is a six-acre compound in the resort town of Punta Cana in the Caribbean Island nation of the Dominican Republic.

Iglesias humorously admits to doing nothing there.

"Sometimes to do nothing, for me, is to have two hours of floating in the water, which is quite a paradise, and thinking, 'Oh God, what a lucky man I am,'" says Iglesias.

CBS News Correspondent Rita Braver reports that Iglesias, at age 60 and almost four decades in show business, is still an international superstar. Iglesias is the top selling Latino singer in history. And, he's just made his 77th album. The first day of the release of that album in Spain, the record went double platinum.

Iglesias laughs at the numbers and says, "Julio, my father buy half of them."

In fact, Iglesias' father, a prominent doctor in Madrid, Spain, never expected his son to be a musician. Young Julio couldn't even get into the school choir.

"I remember the priest, who made the examinations to me, said to me, 'I think it's better if you play football," says Iglesias.

So, the young man went into sports. And sports in Europe, translates into football, a sport known as soccer in the U.S. Iglesias played soccer in college and then as a goalkeeper on the famous professional team Real Madrid.

But, something happened that made Iglesias stop playing.

"I had a car accident, very, very strong car accident," remembers Iglesias. I had what they call paraparexia, which is not a paraplegic. It's a compression in the cord, in the sense of the neck ... my spinal cord, and I was very, very ill for three years."

Doctors thought the young man would never walk again. But slowly, he started to recover. And to increase dexterity in his hands, he began to play the guitar.

Iglesias eventually started to write little melodies and lyrics, which, he says, his mother and father used to love.

ln 1968, Iglesias entered an important singing and song writing contest in Spain, which he won. That led to a recording contract, which led to an album that was a No. 1 album in Spanish speaking countries.

He soon became known as one of the most romantic singers in the world, for several reasons.

Iglesias is known for his music and he carries the reputation of being the ultimate Latin lover.

"Latin lover," Iglesias huffs. "It's like we are insulting the rest of the world. You know, because it looks as if you are not the Latin, you cannot be a lover. I am a lover for sure. I love to be loved."

But, how many did this lover loved? Many articles have reported Iglesias slept with more than 3,000 women.

"That probably was until 1976, so they didn't count the other women," laughs Iglesias.

The singer says the label of "lady lover" hasn't hurt his career. In fact, he says, it, like anything else, helps his life.

But there's no question that Iglesias' reputation helped make "To All the Girls I've Loved Before," the duet with Willy Nelson, another guy who's been around a lot, a huge hit in 1984. That song was Iglesias' breakthrough song in the United States.

It led to more duets, with everyone from Diana Ross to Frank Sinatra to Dolly Parton.

And then there was "Crazy," his hit version of Patsy Klein's trademark song.

"When you record something historical like Patsy Klein and "Crazy," you know that you asked permission to them in heaven first," says Iglesias. "What you try to do is the best you can, because you love the song so much."

Iglesias passed his love of music down to his three children, from his first and only marriage, which ended in divorce. His sons Julio and, especially, Enrique have prospered in the family business.

Some say Iglesias wasn't close to his sons, but the father says that is not true.

"I talk with Julio yesterday," says Iglesias. "With Enrique, I talk with him last time four months ago. Because life is like this. And the love for my kids that I have for them is impossible to replace. You know, they are my kids and it will be a time that we will have time to get together."

These days, Iglesias spends plenty of time with the four young children he has with Miranda Rijnsburger, a Dutch woman he met 14 years ago.

Rijnsburger admits to have been intimidated by Iglesias' "lady lover" reputation.

"Who wouldn't be," Rijnsburger says. "But, you know, I fell madly in love with him, and I think he did with me too. And it's better every year."

But, Rijnsburger has been the one putting off marriage, waiting, she jokes, for their twin daughters to get old enough to bridesmaids. And that has apparently happened, because Julio told Sunday Morning something, he's says, he's never made public before -- that Rijnsburger has finally accepted his proposal in marriage.

"I think the only problem she has, she has to give me half the money," laughs Iglesias. "I think we will get married this year."

But Iglesias has more than marriage on his mind these days. He is also become something of a business mogul. He's part owner of the Punta Cana resort in the Dominican Republic. Iglesias is also developing golf courses and hotels in several other countries.

And, of course, there's his musical career. Iglesias is constantly on tour all over the world -- pouring his heart into each song. The singer pushes himself as hard as he did when he first began.

"My life is to sing," says Iglesias. "I will not give up to sing until the people say it's enough. I hope it will be very late."

This story originally aired May 16, 2004

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