The rock en español group, Maná, is arguably one of the most successful Spanish-language rock bands of this generation. They’ve sold over 40 million records worldwide, and this year their “Rayando El Sol” tour broke records previously held by the Eagles and Kanye West, when they played seven sold-out shows at the Forum in Los Angeles.

But the band didn’t start out playing stadiums—it all started when musician Fher Olvera started an English-speaking band three decades ago in Guadalajara, Mexico. They quickly began singing in Spanish and in 1986, they officially became Maná. The band made a name for themselves playing fusions of reggae, salsa rock, and punk even though they were told rock en español would never go anywhere.

Since then, they have released 11 albums, and their 1992 album, “Dónde Jugarán Los Niños?” is the best selling Spanish-language rock album of all time. The band today includes Fher Olvera, Alex González, Sergio Vallín and Juan Calleros.

In 2016, the Grammy-winning group became the first Mexican rock band to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They received the Latin Music Lifetime award from Billboard in 2018, and that same year, were awarded Person of the Year at the Latin Grammys.

Latino USA sits down with drummer, Alex Gonzalez, who tells us about how they got their start and became Maná.

Featured image by AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File.

This episode originally aired in December 2019.

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