Juan Gabriel (born 7 January 1950) is a Mexican singer-songwriter who is probably the most famous living exponent of the Mexican ranchera.
Gabriel was born Alberto Aguilera Valadés in Parácuaro, Michoacán. He attended boarding school in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, but left to work as a craftsman at the age of 13. Already a songwriter, he began his performing career in nightclubs and local television using the moniker Adán Luna.
In 1971, he landed a recording contract with RCA Records. Changing his name to Juan Gabriel, he gradually established himself as one of Mexico's leading songwriters, penning rancheros and mariachi for leading Latin singers including Estela Nuñez, Angélica María, and Enriqueta Jiménez.
Gabriel made his film debut in 1975 in the movie Nobleza Ranchera. His work an arranger, producer and songwriter throughout the subsequent decades has brought him into contact with the leading Latin artists of the day, including Rocio Dúrcal and Isabel Pantoja.
In 1984, Juan Gabriel scored what is considered by many to be his greatest hit ever, Querida. Upon the release of Chayanne's version of Querida during the Volver a Empezar novela in 1994, Juan Gabriel protested Chayanne's singing of the song.
Gabriel is popular throughout the Hispanic world and has sold over 30 million records worldwide.